Hilton Goes Extreme In Coronavirus Survival Battle

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Hilton  (HLT) - Get Report is going into all-out survival mode in its battle against the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s not alone.

The hotel chain on Thursday said it is suspending its dividend, furloughing part of its corporate workforce, suspending stock buybacks and halting all non-essential expenses in a bid to stay solvent through an unprecedented full-stop in the travel industry.

“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 in a statement.

To mitigate that, Hilton the McLean, Va.-based company 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.

The company also said it is 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.”

To be sure, Hilton is far from alone in its coronavirus battle. Hyatt  (H) - Get Report, Marriott  (MAR) - Get Report, Wyndham  (WH) - Get Report and others are also slashing costs and staff, and in some cases suspending their dividends and halting stock buybacks.

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