Marriott’s “most challenging year” ever ends with $267M loss

Revenue and occupancy are down for the hotel giant, whose CEO died this week

Marriott recorded a $267 million dollar loss. (Getty)
Marriott recorded a $267 million dollar loss. (Getty)


It’s been a tough week for Marriott International. The company’s CEO, Arne Sorenson, died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

And on Thursday, the company shared its latest financials with investors during its fourth quarter earnings call — and the news was not good.

The hotel giant recorded an annual loss of $267 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, the largest loss since 2009, when that figure was $346 million. The quarterly figures weren’t much better: Marriott lost $164 million in the fourth quarter, and revenue during the three-month period fell 60 percent to $2.17 billion. Occupancy was also down, falling nearly 36 percentage points to 35 percent.

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“With the global pandemic, 2020 was the most challenging year in our 93-year history,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott’s group president for consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses.

The pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have hit the company hard, leading to the occupancy drops throughout the U.S. But reservations are back up in mainland China, according to the publication.

Despite the bad news, Marriott executives are optimistic about the company’s future, given the widespread distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine. Group bookings are reportedly approaching normal levels for 2022, and cancellations for those reservations have slowed for the back half of 2021.

“We see a lot of runway for continued leisure demand,” Linnartz said during the call.

[WSJ] — Amy Plitt