Marriott reports green shoots despite losses
Marriott has reported a fourth quarter net loss of $164 million as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit hospitality.
The figure is compared to a net income of $279 million in the year-ago quarter.
Comparable systemwide constant dollar RevPAR for the three months period declined 64 per cent worldwide, 65 per cent in the United States and Canada, and 63 per cent in international markets when compared to the 2019 fourth quarter.
The company added nearly 63,000 rooms globally during 2020, including more than 28,000 rooms in international markets and a total of roughly 8,100 conversion rooms.
Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott group president, said: “With the global pandemic, 2020 was the most challenging year in our 93-year history.
“In April, we experienced the sharpest worldwide RevPAR decline on record, down 90 per cent year over year with just 12 per cent occupancy.
“Demand around the world improved from this trough at varying rates, with China leading the way.
“RevPAR in mainland China saw a meaningful rebound through the year and was down less than ten per cent year over year in December.”
She added: “While China has shown that demand can be quite resilient when the virus is perceived to be contained, we have also seen that progress can be slowed by significant spikes in virus cases, such as we saw in the United States and Europe towards the end of 2020.
“Global occupancy remained at 35 per cent in the fourth quarter, in line with the third quarter, and still substantially above the trough in April.
“While no one can know how long this pandemic will last, we are seeing some small, early signs that the acceleration of vaccine rollouts around the world will help drive a significant rebound in travel and lodging demand.”
Marriott earlier this week announced that chief executive Arne Sorenson had died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Leeny Oberg, Marriott chief financial officer, said: “We are all deeply saddened by Arne Sorenson’s unexpected passing.
“We are grateful to have been able to work with such an inspiring and talented leader and will always treasure our memories of working with him.
“Our leadership team is committed to honouring him by building on his incredible legacy as we move the company forward.”