• ‘We’ve got about 30 hotels in Rio and they are very’ full
  • Brazilians are buying ‘beautiful, blingy glasses’ in Rio

The Olympic Games begin Friday in Rio de Janeiro. And while hotel managers cheer the prospect, bosses of some of the world’s biggest companies have more mixed reactions to the effect they could have on business. These comments were collected by Bloomberg from earnings calls, meetings and conferences during the second half of July using the DS function.

Jean-Jacques Morin, chief financial officer, Accor SA:
“We’ve got about 30 hotels in Rio and they are very, very full.” (July 28)

J. Scott Kirby, president, American Airlines Group Inc.:
“Usually the Olympics, World Cups, conventions are a negative for revenues because business travelers just stay away because they can’t get hotels -- because they’re worried about the crowds. And so business travel dries up. We’ve seen that in all the other Olympics. We’ve seen that at the World Cup. In this case, Brazil is so bad that there is no business traffic, or close to no business traffic. And so, this year, I think it will be a positive just because Brazil has fallen so much before. Two years ago, I would have thought the Olympics would be a negative, and they would have been two years ago. But today, because things have fallen so much, they’re going to actually be a positive.” (July 22)

Stephen Hagge, chief executive officer of aerosol valve and pump manufacturer AptarGroup Inc.:
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see as we get into the Olympics, if you start to see travel downturn.”
“We don’t think that the Zika virus per se has got a lot of negatives. What I do think you’re going to get is that there wasn’t much insecticide used in Latin America in prior years. We think that’s probably going to be a trend that’s going to continue now that they are using it, they’re going to need to continue that.” (July 29)

Stefano Grassi, CFO, Luxottica Group SpA:
“The Brazilians, though they’re not buying perhaps in Miami or in London, are buying their beautiful, blingy glasses in their own country. So, we see a great increase, double-digit growth in the luxury business that we see in Brazil, which is counterintuitive because you say, wait a second, you’re having a problem here with the economy, but we’re selling much more luxury, because the Brazilians are staying home.” (July 25)

Stephen Burke, CEO, NBC Universal Media LLC:
“We made $120 million or thereabouts in London, and we are going to make a lot more than that in Rio. So we’re looking forward to that.” (July 27)

Gregory Levin, CFO, BJ’s Restaurants Inc.:
“Opening and closing weekends are always pretty tough. That Friday night of opening weekend, everybody wants to see them walk into the stadium. That always seems to be a little bit tougher. The rest of it, it’s kind of a non-event in that regards. It’s really not favorable from that standpoint. Again, people don’t get together and say ‘Let’s go to BJ’s to watch Michael Phelps swim for two minutes.”’ (July 26)

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