Avolta records 8.6% organic growth as EMEA boosts strong Q124 performance

By Benedict Evans |

Avolta

Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings upgraded Avolta’s credit rating to Ba2 Stable Outlook and BB+ Outlook Stable respectively, which Avolta said reflected its positive outlook and consistent financial policy.

Avolta says its ‘Destination 2027’ strategy is yielding results, supported by an enhanced customer experience and strong execution, which has led to reported turnover of CHF2.8bn (£2.4bn), and 8.6% core organic growth year-on-year (yoy).

Xavier Rossinyol, CEO of Avolta, stated: “The first quarter of 2024 not only marks a strong beginning of our first full calendar year as Avolta but supports our outlook for 2024 and beyond.

We are pleased to report that our strong trajectory continues into Q1 2024, underlining our confidence as we head into the summer season, with KPIs including an organic growth rate of 8.6%, an EBITDA margin of 6.1% and uninterrupted growth trends across the remainder of 2024 and beyond.”

Travel retail

Travel retail, convenience and F&B remained strong throughout Q124 for Avolta; the company estimated April YTD organic growth at around +7.0% yoy.

“With a strong start in the first quarter and continued positive trends in the second, we confidently prepare for the upcoming summer season. 2024 holds great prospects, underpinned by highly attractive long-term global air passenger traffic trends, expected to double by 2042,” noted Rossinyol, adding: “Looking ahead, market conditions remain promising, supporting our commitment to deliver best in class execution and performance.

Collectively, the commitment to and execution of our Destination 2027 strategy continues to deliver attractive growth in combination with resilience. Our industry offers prime exposure to travel and long-term consumption trends. Avolta stands out with a uniquely stable and global platform with more than 5,100 Points of Sale across 73 countries.”

EMEA

Reported turnover in EMEA reached CHF1.3bn (£1.14bn) with core turnover of CHF1.2bn (£1.11bn), representing organic growth of 11.7% yoy.

The performance was mainly driven by strong leisure demand, namely in Italy, Greece and Morocco. In addition, performances in the UK, Nordics and Central Europe were solid owing to the continued recovery of international traffic.

An overview of the high-level financial figures as reported by Avolta for Q124, showing a strong 8.9% growth vs the same period in 2023.

Avolta secured new wins and extensions in the region in Q124, including: a nine-year contract for 26 F&B stores at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (Türkiye); a seven-year contract extension at Edinburgh Airport (UK) including 30% additional commercial space; and a new ten-year partnership with Cologne-Bonn Airport (Germany) with 17 new F&B stores.

Avolta also expanded its presence in Bulgaria with an eight-year contract extension as Master Retail Concessionaire airside, including an additional six new stores at Burgas and Varna Airports (Bulgaria), and a seven-year concession at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport (Serbia).

New openings and significant store upgrades in the region included: the opening of eight F&B stores in Helsinki (Finland); the launch of local 12Oz store in Milan (Italy); the addition of proprietary brand Burger Federation in Düsseldorf (Germany); Yardbird’s opening in Zurich (Switzerland); the newest Jones the Grocer opening in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport (UAE); as well as the inauguration of Eataly at the Autogrill Motorway in Dorno (Italy).

North America (NA)

Turnover for NA reached CHF973.6m (£850m) with organic growth of 7.3% YoY.

In the US, growth across both travel retail and F&B was robust, underpinned by solid traffic trends and strong demand for the duty-free segment.

Canada continued to benefit from the progressive recovery of international traffic volumes.

Over the quarter, Avolta invested in its duty free and F&B offerings throughout North America as Hudson opened its first duty free store in Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and a Hermès boutique at Vancouver International Airport.

All regions contributed to Avolta’s growth within Q24 (vs the same period in 2023), though EMEMA accounted for the largest organic growth, at 11.7%.

Bryant Park Market was also added by Hudson to Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport and numerous travel convenience and retail stores to Dulles International Airport.

In F&B: HMSHost was brought in at Hudson; Angie’s Subs opened at Jacksonville International Airport; Summit House was added to Calgary International Airport, and a Chick-fil-A quick-service restaurant (landsite and airside) was set up at Charleston International Airport.

Latin America (LATAM)

Turnover for LATAM came in at CHF374.5m (£326m) with yoy organic growth of 5.0%.

Avolta grew in the region in the first quarter, with the award of a new six-year duty-paid contract at Maceió-Zumbi dos Palmares International Airport (Brazil), and a collaboration agreement with Corporación America Airports, a private airport operator managing 53 airports in six countries.

Growth in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay was solid thanks to international traffic recovery, and partially offset a downturn in Argentina resultnt of macroeconomic difficulties.

 Mexico and Caribbean revenue remained leisure-driven.

Asia-Pacific (APAC)

Turnover totalled CHF144.3m (£125m) with yoy organic growth 5.5%.

Like-for-like trends remained solid benefitting from the intra-regional traffic recovery and sustained leisure traffic towards main holiday destinations.

Newly opened/refreshed stores have included: premium duty free shopping inBangalore; Jones the Grocer and Royal Challengers Bangalore Sports Bar at Bangalore International Airport (India); the Diptyque boutique, Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and four Hudson stores in Shanghai Pudong Airport (China); Chongqing’s Chanel boutique (China); the opening of Hungry Jacks at Gold Coast Airport (Australia), and a Pizza Hut and two Ahh Yum stores in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Malaysia).

Avolta noted this like-for-like was partially offset by the ongoing contract portfolio optimisation in the region.

During the quarter, Avolta expanded the company’s footprint in India to more than 100 stores with the award of a ten-year contract at the soon-to-be-opened Noida International Airport, adding eight new F&B stores to its portfolio.

READ MORE: Avolta details “bold and ambitious” goals to grow its APAC business

READ MORE: Avolta hails ‘transformative’ 2023; reports FY results

READ MORE:OUT NOW: May issue + Leading APAC Operators

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