February 26, 2020 / 6:35 PM / a month ago

Spain's Melia Hotels warns of coronavirus hit in first quarter

MADRID, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Spain’s Melia Hotels said on Wednesday it expected its business in China to take a hit in the first quarter due to the coronavirus, which has so far had only a moderate impact on results but has clouded its outlook globally for this year.

The hotel chain said it has already been affected by the cancellation of several events due to concerns over the infection, including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and some events in Milan.

China, where revenues climbed 9.2% in 2019, will be particularly hard hit by the outbreak, which has so far had a limited impact on the rest of its destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, Melia said.

“The company remains very cautious with regard to the evolution of the heath crisis,” Melia said, adding that it has prepared a global contingency plan to ensure health and safety.

Melia reported a 23% drop in net profit to 113 million euros ($123 million) for 2019. Annual revenue edged down 1.7% to 1.80 billion euros over the same period, the company said. ($1 = 0.9201 euros) (Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alison Williams)

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