THIRD QUARTER RESULTS from two major hospitality companies, Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels Corp., released last week were mixed, adding to the lackluster growth the industry has witnessed in the quarter. As a result, both hotel companies have lowered their forecast for the RevPAR for the full year.
Marriott has seen the comparable systemwide RevPAR increasing by 1.5 percent on constant currency basis, consistent with the company guidance. The metric rose by 1.3 percent in North America, while the international RevPAR grew by 1.9 percent.
The company however suffered an 18 percent year on year decrease in adjusted net income, which stood at $488 million, down from $598 million in the same period in 2018. Adjusted EBITDA, totaling $901 million, was flat compared to the previous year.
Hyatt reported a 5.4 percent YOY increase in the adjusted net income, but its adjusted EBITDA decreased 7.3 percent to $163 million. Systemwide RevPAR was flat, which included a decrease of 0.1 percent at owned and leased hotels.
Despite a second quarter of dropping income for Marriott (the company reported a 15 percent decrease in adjusted net income in the second quarter), President and CEO Arne Sorenson sounded optimistic in the earnings call.
“Our sales organization is hitting its stride,” he said. “For comparable hotels in North America, group revenue booked in the third quarter for all future periods increased 6 percent and, today, group revenue pace for 2020 is up at a mid-single digit growth rate.”
Backed by this demand, Marriott said they expect flat to up to 1 percent increase in RevPAR in North America, roughly 1 percent increase outside North America and worldwide.
However, Marriott has lowered its guidance the full year.
Systemwide RevPAR is now expected to increase roughly 1 percent in North America, compared to the August guidance of 1 to 2 percent. The figures for outside North America and worldwide also have lowered.
Marriott said it has added 17,720 rooms to its worldwide portfolio during the quarter, and its development pipeline totaled 2,947 properties with nearly 495,000 rooms at quarter-end.
Hyatt said its RevPAR growth was favorably impacted by the timing of the Jewish holidays, but the political unrest in Hong Kong has offset the gains.
In the U.S., RevPAR decreased 0.6 percent with full-service hotel RevPAR increasing 0.2 percent and select service hotel RevPAR decreasing 2.3 percent.
Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt’s president and CEO, said the company expects to end the year positively despite the “challenging” global operating environment.
“The strength of our brands and the consistent approach we have to operating with excellence and efficiency are serving us very well in this period of volatile economic conditions,” he said.
“In particular, our management and franchise fee growth of nearly 11 percent this quarter is driven by roughly 13 percent year-over-year net rooms growth. Further, we have successfully increased productivity and operating efficiency for 23 straight quarters which has allowed us to maintain strong hotel operating margins even in the face of flat RevPAR growth this quarter.”
The company has further reduced the annual RevPAR growth outlook for 2019 to approximately 0.5 percent, from the range of approximately 1 to 2 percent announced in July and a prior range of approximately 1 to 3 percent.
“This reduction is primarily driven by continued pressure we are seeing of RevPAR from our select service hotels in the US, combined with the significant negative impact from Hong Kong,” Joan Bottarini, chief financial officer of the company, told analysts in a conference call.
Hyatt’s Americas management and franchising segment has benefitted from the Two Roads acquisition in the final quarter of 2018 and recent hotel openings, with adjusted EBITDA increasing 11.4 percent increase in constant currency terms.
The company has opened 20 hotels, or 4,422 rooms, in the third quarter, contributing to a 13.2 percent increase in net rooms.
The earnings season so far has revealed that the industry is going through a phase of subdued growth. Last week, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reported a 1 percent decline in RevPAR for its U.S. and international business. Intercontinental Hotel Group has also reported a 0.8 percent drop in RevPAR for the third quarter.
In Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ conference call last week, chief executive Christopher Nassetta noted leisure business was “down a tick” in the third quarter.
The company managed a 0.4 percent RevPAR increase in what he termed as an “overall slowing macro environment.”
Dan Wasiolek, senior equity analyst at Morningstar, told Reuters that U.S.-China trade dispute is a factor affecting the hotel industry, with its impact on corporate travel.
“When companies are uncertain about policy that can impact their business, they are unsure how to budget for that and that can therefore slow business meetings,” Wasiolek said. “And if that slows business meetings, it slows travel and it slows people staying at hotels.”