Dufry strengthens Russian airports operation

By Doug Newhouse |

Dufry has announced today that it has acquired 51% of the Regstaer Group which trades at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, incorporating a retail business that currently generates an annual sales turnover of more than $50m.

The acquisition was concluded on January 10, 2012 and includes an exclusive commercial and purchasing agreement for Regstaer Group’s operation at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow [handling mostly charter airline operations-Ed].

Dufry already has significant operations at Sheremetyevo Airport and Domodedovo (Moscow’s biggest) and Dufry says that the acquisition of one of Dufry’s ‘main peers’ in Russia, along with the possibility to develop together with the Regstaer Group at Vnukovo Airport, the third airport in Moscow, should deliver important synergies. Furthermore, Dufry believes it can achieve a pre-eminent position in Russia thanks to the transaction, which will be the basis for further development of the business in the region.

On the operational side, the acquired business complements Dufry’s existing operations at Sheremetyevo International Airport and Regstaer will add nine duty free shops with a total retail space of 1,200sq m in different terminals at the airport.

The shops offer a general duty free assortment, including perfume and cosmetics, accessories and wines and spirits. The acquired business, which employs a workforce of 200, will be integrated into Dufry’s existing local organization and the new operations will be managed jointly with Dufry’s other business in Russia.

Sheremetyevo International Airport is Russia’s second-busiest airport with 14m international passengers per year. It is also one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, recording a passenger growth of close to 20% in the last twelve months.

Julian Diaz, CEO of Dufry, commented: “This is an important transaction for Dufry as it substantially strengthens our position in the Russian airport travel retail market and sets the basis for developing other travel retail markets in the region.

“We have been an important player in the country since more than ten years and with this transaction, we have established ourselves as the leading operator with a strong presence in the two largest airports in the country, namely Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo. Thanks to our partners, we will also be able to support them in their business at Vnukovo Airport and we are very happy to team up with such a strong local competitor.

“By combining the new businesses with our existing ones in the country, we will be further able to extract a substantial amount of synergies in the region.”

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