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Marriott Reports Lower First-Quarter Earnings, Revenue Due to COVID-19 But Sees Business Rebounding

05/10/2021 06:02

10:02 AM EDT, 05/10/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Marriott International (MAR) reported lower first-quarter earnings on Monday due primarily to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and hospitality industry, but the hotel chain said occupancy rates were on the upswing as more people get vaccinated against the disease.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based conglomerate posted an adjusted profit of $0.10 a share, compared with $0.49 a share for the same period in 2020. Analysts polled by Capital IQ estimated Marriott would post an adjusted profit of $0.03 a share. Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $2.32 billion, down from $4.68 billion a year ago and missing the Street view for $2.4 billion.

Marriott said consumer demand for accommodations increased in recent months, particularly in mainland China, where occupancy rates reached 66% in March, nearly the same as in March 2019.

"We were pleased to see demand improve meaningfully during the first quarter," said Chief Executive Tony Capuano in a statement. "We are encouraged to see green shoots in special corporate and group bookings, which have been improving as companies slowly begin to return to their office."

Capuano said US and Canada demand rose "rapidly" as vaccinations picked up, with occupancy reaching 49% by March after starting the year at 33%. "As vaccines roll out around the world and government restrictions ease, I am optimistic that demand will continue to strengthen," he said.

Still, Marriott expects the ongoing pandemic to continue to materially impact the company.

Comparable systemwide constant dollar revenue per available room fell about 46% worldwide over last year's quarter. Base management and franchise fees fell to $412 million from $629 million in the 2020 quarter due largely to the impact of COVID-19.

Marriott said its net liquidity was around $4.7 billion at the end of the first-quarter 2021, which includes about $600 million in cash and $4.1 billion in unused borrowing capacity under its revolving credit facility.

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