[UPDATED]: Dufry trends upward in third quarter; 9M sales at CHF2.5 billion

By Luke Barras-hill |

Dufry estimates net sales to reach 60.6% of October 2019 levels in October 2021.

A travel rebound in the third quarter helped Dufry to achieve 23.6% organic growth (11.8% like-for-like) year-on-year in the first nine months to CHF2,536.8 million/$2,783.79m.

As of September, net debt totalled CHF3,086m compared with CHF3,351.5m as of June, and CHF3,344m at the end of December 2020.

Q3 turnover reached 55.6% of 2019 levels to total CHF1,349.5m.

Equity-free cash flow reached CHF253.7m for the period in question, a similar level to Q3 2019.

Net debt declined to CHF3,086 million, reaching the same level as in September 2019, with the Group pointing to a ‘sufficient liquidity position of CHF2,347.8 million for driving re-openings and growth acceleration’.

Julián Díaz, CEO, Dufry Group.

MORE THAN 80% OF SHOPS OPEN

Approximately 1,850 stores are currently open, representing 84% of 2019 sales capacity.

Julián Díaz, CEO, Dufry Group commented: “The third quarter has trended further upwards and gives us confidence for the ongoing re-openings and growth opportunities beyond. We have seen continued progress in the US and Central America including the Caribbean Islands.

“The most significant uptake was reported across Europe, Middle East and Africa as vaccination campaigns have been progressing and authorities have started to focus on an alignment of travel protocols and the practicality of measures.

“For October, we are already trading at a level of 60.6% of 2019. We have more than 80% of our shops open – only considering re-opened locations, our trading reaches around 75% of 2019 already.

“Looking at the most progressed regions, we are even relatively close to normalisation. For example, Central America & the Caribbean trades at 90.4%, Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Middle East at 89.1% of 2019 levels.”

In its Q3 statement, Dufry says savings scenarios for 2021 expect to be in the order of CHF1,870m versus 2019, taking into account MAG relief, personnel and other expenses.

Díaz says Q4 will see some cash outflows due to the seasonality of the business, but Dufry is nonetheless in a position to upgrade its cashflow scenarios for the second half of the year with a cash inflow of around CHF125m expected in a -55% turnover environment.

“We are expecting to overachieve our overall cost savings target for 2021 of initially around CHF970 million and are estimating now to reach around CHF1,870 million savings for full-Year 2021, compared to 2019,” continued Díaz.

Source: Dufry Group. Click to enlarge.

“We continue with our close interactions with our landlords and airport partners to find viable solutions for the significant drop in passengers since last year, and we have also seen an alignment of concession fees to passenger numbers.

“Further reliefs of minimum annual guarantees were achieved, acknowledging the severeness of the situation travel retail operators and other concessionaires are operating in.”

Dufry’s category mix reflects current re-opening patterns, with the domestic and intra-regional travel recovery swinging demand towards duty paid, F&B and convenience offerings.

Perfume & cosmetics increased its share in Q3 in a ‘strongly improved’ performance.

The airport channel also gained share as travel volumes lifted. Spend per passenger and average ticket value remain elevated on a location-by-location comparison, adds Dufry.

Dufry, which placed fourth in the TRBusiness Top 10 International Operators e-zine (click here to read), gained several concession victories during the period with a 10-year duty free extension at Santiago International Airport in the Dominican Republic; a 12-year victory at Wales’ Cardiff Airport, and five-and-a-half-year duty free extension at Cambodia’s three international airports.

Total gross retail space opened during Q3 amounted to 2,208sq m, mainly related to several openings in the US.

Source: Dufry Group. Click to enlarge.

Refurbishments during Q3 amounted to 4,263sq m, including stores in Manchester, Athens, Mykonos, Vancouver and a number of locations in the US.

Dufry also celebrated the grand opening of an additional 30,000sq m of space featuring more than 200 renowned international brands at the Global Duty Free Plaza in association with Hainan Development Holdings at Mova Mall in Hainan’s capital of Haikou. The full retail space spanning around 39,000sq m will be open for travellers in 2022.

‘Current sales trends are encouraging and Dufry will continue to manage re-openings in line with travel uptake and customer demand while driving commercial and operational excellence, engaging in diversification and digitalisation initiatives, increasing efficiencies and further strengthening its ESG engagement,’ the company added.

To watch an exclusive video interview with Julián Díaz, CEO, Dufry Group, click here.

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