Marriott bounces back as activity in China surges

Marriott bounces back as activity in China surges
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Marriott reported some dramatic improvements in the third quarter as travel demand rebounded in China.

Average occupancy at hotels in China hit 61% during the quarter, down just 10% from a year ago. Marriott said in July that leisure demand — particularly at resorts — was the first to return in China, but business and group travel is also picking up.

Occupancy in North America was 37% as some leisure demand returned. That was down 40% from the July-September period a year ago. Business and group travel has been slower to come back, Marriott said.

Occupancy in Europe was 21% for the quarter, down 58% from a year ago.

Marriott rival Hilton, which reported earnings Thursday, saw a similar dynamic. Occupancy was highest in Asia, where it reached 53%, and lowest in the Americas — excluding the U.S. — at 25%. U.S. occupancy was 44%.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, on Friday reported earnings of $100 million in the July-September period, down from $387 million in the same quarter a year ago. It said 94% of its hotels are now open worldwide.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time items, were 6 cents per share. Wall Street had been expecting an 8 cent loss, according to a survey of analysts by FactSet.

Revenue fell 57% to $2.25 billion, slightly better than analyst projections.

Shares of the Bethesda, Maryland, company slipped about 1% before the opening bell.

Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press

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