Marriott quarterly profit misses lowered estimates as bookings plunge

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FILE PHOTO: A guest arrives at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square in New York City, U.S., November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) fell short of already drastically lowered expectations for quarterly profit on Monday, as bookings plunged due to coronavirus-led travel restrictions.

Shares of the company, which owns the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury hotel brands, fell 1.5% to $85.85 in premarket trading, after having declined about 42% this year.

The hotel industry has been crippled by the pandemic that has forced people to cancel bookings and stay at home to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Marriott said its bookings in Greater China improved in April as the world’s second-largest economy gradually reopened for business.

Last week, rival Holiday Inn-owner InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) also said it was seeing signs of recovery in some markets such as Greater China, after reporting an 80% plunge in average room revenue in April.

Marriott said its revenue per available room dropped 22.5% to $84.51 in the first quarter ended March 31 from a year earlier.

Net income fell to $31 million, or 9 cents per share, from $375 million, or $1.09 per share. On an adjusted basis, Marriott earned 26 cents per share in the quarter.

Revenue slumped 7% to $4.68 billion.

Analysts on average had expected Marriott to earn 80 cents per share on revenue $4.03 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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