Despite pandemic, Hilton opens more than 100 new hotels

McLean, Virginia-based Hilton Worldwide reports room revenue for the summer quarter was significantly lower than a year ago, but occupancy did improve, and the company continued to open new hotels.

At the end of September, 97% of Hilton’s existing hotel properties were open.

Hilton reports a quarterly loss of $81 million, compared to a quarterly profit of $290 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Third quarter revenue was $933 million, compared to $2.4 billion in revenue for the same quarter one year ago.

Revenue per available room during the quarter was down 59.9% from a year earlier. Occupancy at Hilton’s hotels worldwide last quarter was 42.5%, with occupancy at its U.S. hotels rising to 44.3% last quarter. Its hotels in the Asia Pacific region had the highest occupancy last quarter, at 53.1%.

“Our third quarter results show meaningful improvement over the second quarter,” said Hilton president and CEO Christopher Nassetta.

“The vast majority of our properties around the world are now open and have gradually begun to recover from the limitations that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on the travel industry, with occupancy increasing more than 20 percentage points from the second quarter.”

“While a full recovery will take time, we are well positioned to capture rising demand and execute on growth opportunities.”

During the third quarter, Hilton opened 133 new hotels totaling more than 17,000 rooms, including the new Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center, the first hotel for Hilton under its new Motto brand.

Other large new properties that opened last quarter included the Conrad Junta de Mita in Mexico and the Hilton Beijing Tongzhu in China.

This summer, Hilton eliminated 2,100 corporate jobs — or about 22% of its corporate workforce — and extended existing furloughs and corporate pay cuts for other employees. Other top executives have taken pay cuts of up to 50%, and the CEO is forgoing his salary.

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