Hilton withdraws 2020 earnings amid coronavirus evolution

CEO Christopher J. Nassetta is confident in Hilton's resilience and response to market conditions

With more than 113,000 cases of the coronavirus reported worldwide causing cancelations of business travel and vacations, Hilton Worldwide Holdings has announced the withdrawal of its 2020 earnings outlook because of the evolving crisis.

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In the March 10 announcement, Hilton President and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta explained that the virus’s potential impact on business will most likely overshadow the company’s projected numbers.

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“With the coronavirus now spreading beyond China and the Asia Pacific region, and the related increase in travel restrictions and cancellations around the world, we believe that the potential negative impact will be greater than our previous estimate and have decided to withdraw our previously announced guidance,” Nassetta said.

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Regardless of the imminent danger that the coronavirus poses to Hilton and other travel and hospitality business, Nassetta said the 100-year old company is confident in its “resilient business model” and ability to “respond appropriately to market conditions.” According to Nassetta, Hilton’s No. 1 concern is with the health and safety of guests and employees.

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"Our first thoughts continue to be with our guests and team members affected by the coronavirus,” Nassetta said. “It is times like these when the world needs our hospitality most, particularly in the communities that have been hit hardest by the outbreak.”

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Hilton has nearly 6,000 properties in 117 countries and, according to Business Wire, has welcomed more than 3 billion guests within a century of business.