Hilton Halts Dividend and Cuts Staff as Pandemic Ravages Revenue

Hilton suspends its dividend, furloughs part of its workforce, suspends stock buybacks and halts non-essential expenses as it battles the impact of the coronavirus.
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Hilton Worldwide  (HLT) - Get Report said it will suspend its dividend, furlough part of its corporate workforce, suspend stock buybacks and halt all non-essential expenses as the hotel and leisure-property chain battles the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the McLean, Va.-based hotel chain said it will furlough “many” of the company's corporate workers, reducing their work schedules for 90 days; workers who are not furloughed will take a 20% pay cut for the duration of the crisis.

“With travel at a virtual standstill, operations have been suspended across many managed and franchised hotels, and those hotels that remain open have reduced services for guests because of decreased occupancy levels,” the company said.

The company also said its senior executive team will forgo salaries for the remainder of 2020 and will take a 50% pay cut during the crisis. Furloughed employees will maintain health benefits and be eligible for unemployment benefits.

“While difficult to make, these decisions will allow the company to weather the current crisis and emerge in the best position to welcome back its team members and guests when it is safe again to travel,” Hilton said.

The global pandemic and efforts to combat it have hammered the travel industry, driven by a global chain reaction that has all but eliminated non-essential travel and shuttered wide swaths of Europe and North America, including the Las Vegas strip.

Hilton two weeks ago said it was withdrawing its previously announced first quarter and full year 2020 outlook "... due to the evolving impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the global economy."

Shares of Hilton were down 6.04% at $68.97 in trading on Friday. 

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