Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today reported fourth quarter 2020 results, which were materially impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it (COVID-19).
Leeny Oberg, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Arne Sorenson. 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 team Leadership is committed to honoring him by building on his incredible legacy as we move forward with the company. ”
Stephanie Linnartz, Group President, Consumer Operations, Emerging Business and Technology, and Tony Capuano, Group President, Global Operations, Design, and Development Services, who together share responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company until the Marriott’s board of directors appoints a new president and CEO, commented on the company’s quarterly results.
Ms. Linnartz said: “With the global pandemic, 2020 was the most challenging year in our 93-year history. In April, we experienced the steepest decline in RevPAR 1 worldwide on record, 90% less a year. year-on-year with only 12% occupancy. Worldwide demand improved from this low at different rates, with China leading the way. Mainland China RevPAR saw a significant rebound during the year, declining less than 10 percent y-o-y in December.
“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, as we saw in the US and Europe. towards the end of 2020. ” . Global occupancy remained at 35 percent in the fourth quarter, in line with the third quarter, and still substantially above the April low. While no one can know how long this pandemic will last, we are seeing some early and small signs that the acceleration of vaccine launches around the world will help drive a significant rebound in demand for travel and accommodation. ”
Mr. Capuano said: “We are pleased that we continue to see strong demand for our industry-leading brands from owners and franchisees despite the unprecedented challenges that resulted from the pandemic. Our portfolio grew during the quarter to more than 498,000 rooms by the end of 2020, with 46 percent of those rooms under construction. We’re seeing great interest in conversions, as evidenced by our recent announcement of the planned conversion of 19 all-inclusive hotels with nearly 7,000 rooms to our system at the Caribbean region and Latin America during 2021. Looking ahead, we expect gross room growth to accelerate to approximately 6 percent in 2021.
“In the face of the unprecedented environment resulting from the pandemic, our associates and leadership team rose to the challenge. We work closely with our owners and franchisees to help them overcome the crisis by implementing cost savings, both temporary and permanent. We implement high standards of cleanliness across our portfolio to enhance the safety and well-being of our associates and guests, while introducing additional protocols to help group business and meetings run safely. ”
Ms Oberg added: “In 2020, we moved quickly to adjust the size of our business in response to the precipitous drop in revenue by cutting costs, strengthening our balance sheet and reducing capital spending. While the current environment remains challenging, we believe the financial situation is strong and we look forward to the remainder of 2021 with optimism”.