Avolta earns S&P Global credit rating boost to BB+; praises Autogrill move

By Luke Barras-hill |

Avolta

The credit rating upgrade also underscores the successful integration of Dufry-Autogrill, achieved ahead of schedule. Avolta, new corporate entity of the new business combination, unveiled in October. 

Travel retail giant Avolta has had its credit rating upgraded from BB to BB+ with the outlook classed as “stable”, according to S&P Global Ratings.

In a rating report published yesterday (3 April), S&P Global Ratings highlighted Avolta’s strong operating performance in 2023, riding the positive passenger traffic recovery, and tightened financial policy.

As reported last month, Avolta announced CORE turnover of CHF12,534.6 million, up 21.6% on an organic basis, as CORE EBITDA rose to CHF1,129.6 million/$13,913.4 million in 2023 with a margin of 9% (compared to 8.7% 2022 proforma).

“The group completed the combination of Dufry and Autogrill ahead of plan, and we see a strengthening of its business model thanks to significant improvements in its scale, geographic diversification and product mix over the past few years,” said S&P Global.

The company points to Avolta’s “solid competitive edge”, enhanced market stance and more comprehensive commercial offer.

Winning its concession contracts in Spain under new negotiated terms is a demonstration of the improved business strength, adds S&P Global.

Citing a “stable” outlook, the rating agency expects the travel retailer to continue its robust operating performance aligned with its global strategy to deliver strong credit metrics in the medium term, while its new capital allocation policy is viewed as prudent and more conservative than its pre-pandemic approach.

Last week, Avolta secured an upgraded credit rating from Ba3 to Ba2 from Moody’s.

Yves Gerster, Chief Financial Officer at Avolta, commented: “We are extremely satisfied with the rating upgrade by S&P Global Ratings, following last week’s upgrade from Moody’s. The rating improvements confirm our strong performance achieved in 2023, the positive outlook and consistent financial policy. As commented by the agency, the increased diversification achieved with the successful combination with Autogrill is enhancing our resilience, paving the way for the implementation of our “Destination 2027” strategic vision.”

READ MORE: Survey 2024: Avolta’s Rossinyol on the path ahead

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READ MORE: VIDEO interview: Xavier Rossinyol, Avolta, part 1

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