Jul 30 (.) – Meliá Hotels announced on Thursday an attributed net loss of 358.6 million euros, in a first half marked by the temporary closure of its hotels and the drastic drop in tourism due to the coronavirus.

The group confirmed that April and May were the « most complex » of the year in terms of income, with only 12% of available rooms open during the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

Thus, the Balearic hotel’s income fell to 319.2 million euros at the end of June, 63.3% less than in the same period of the previous year, while the gross operating result (EBITDA) registered a loss of 71 million, compared to the profit of 217 million a year earlier.

The Spanish tourism sector – which normally contributes around 12% of Spain’s GDP – has seen the arrival of foreign visitors drop to zero during the state of alarm declared in the country to contain the virus.

Hotel demand began to recover discreetly in June after the resumption of commercial flights and lack of confidence, standing at 33%, but the recent announcement by the United Kingdom to quarantine those arriving from Spain threatens to prolong the agony of the sector .

« The prospects for hotel openings are subject to the evolution of demand in the different destinations where we have a presence, » the group said in a statement, adding that during the month of July around 60 hotels will have opened, concentrated in the peninsular coast, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands « for a season that we estimate will be shorter than usual ».

The company pointed out that the main driver of the Spanish market is being domestic tourism, as there are still restrictions on international mobility and fear of contagion on trips to other countries.

The hotel’s net debt stood at 2,323.4 million euros at the end of the first half, while the group’s liquidity situation (including the treasury as well as the undrawn credit lines) amounted to 553 million.

In order to preserve said liquidity, the company said it would focus on adjusting each of the cost lines, reducing the investments planned for the year, obtaining new financing and deferring the maturities they had during year. (Information by Andrea Ariet; edited by Tomás Cobos)