Hotel operator Marriott International Inc on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit, compared to a year-ago loss, as a recovery in travel began to aid a battered global tourist industry.
Marriott's results come at a time when a new wave of COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant of the coronavirus is striking countries worldwide, potentially upending travel plans.
The Delta variant, which is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu, now comprises more than 80% of new cases in the United States and has been detected in more than 90 countries.
Marriott, which owns hotel brands such as the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton, said occupancy in its key U.S. & Canada and Greater China markets rose to 56.1% and 62.4%, respectively, in the second quarter, compared to 19.6% and 35.5% last year.
While occupancy has recovered from last year's record lows, it remains well below the rates seen before the pandemic.
Excluding items, Marriott earned $0.79 per share, while revenue rose 115.1% to $3.15 billion.
Marriott's net profit was $422 million, or $1.28 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $234 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.
(Reporting by Ashwini Raj; Additional reporting by Ankit Ajmera; Editing by Shailesh Kuber) ((Ashwini.Raj@thomsonreuters.com;))