China business travel returns for Marriott, revenue tumbles

U.S. and World Business News

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 30, 2013, file photo, a man works on a new Marriott sign in front of the former Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. Marriott says its business is steadily improving, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, with 91% of its hotels now reopen and business travel reemerging in China. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Marriott has reopened 91% of its hotels globally as business travel reemerges in China and worldwide occupancy, which tumbled to 11% in April, reached 34%.

The company reported quarterly profits on Monday that fell far short of expectations, however, and revenue plunged.

Shares dipped about 3% before the opening bell.

In China, where business travel and even some group events resumed, occupancy levels reached 60%, about 10% lower than the same period last year, Marriott said.

“The improvement we have seen in greater China exemplifies the resilience of travel demand once there is a view that the virus is under control and travel restrictions have eased,” CEO Arne Sorenson said in a prepared statement.

Marriott had a net loss of $234 million for the second quarter after a $232 million profit in the April-June period last year. Adjusted for one-time items, Marriott lost 64 cents per share, far worse than the loss of 41 cents that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet.

Revenue plunged 72% to $1.5 billion, just shy of analyst projections.

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