EMEA drives recovery for Dufry in Q1; Group organic growth at +144.5%

By Luke Barras-hill |

Dufry secured a 10-year duty free contract extension at La Romana International Airport and Seaport in the Dominican Republic in January.

Europe, Middle East and Africa posted organic growth of +283.7% in the first quarter of 2022 year-on-year to reach CHF505.9 million/US$544.3 million, Dufry Group has announced.

Group turnover reached CHF 1,118.6m, representing organic growth of +144.5% (+143.4% like-for-like) as all regions with the exception of Asia Pacific benefitted from an improvement in sales.

Reported turnover across the regions was down by as much as 88.3% versus the same period in 2019 to average -40.6% at Group level.

More than 1,960 shops (85%) were open worldwide as of the end of March, accounting for more than 90% of Dufry’s 2019 sales potential.

EQUITY FREE CASH FLOW IMPROVES

Julián Díaz, the outgoing CEO of Dufry Group, commented: “Until the last week of January, the first quarter was still impacted by some travel constraints. Since February, we have seen an easing of restrictions and general improvement of the health situation.

“This translated into an immediate uptake in travel, and in travel retail as an integral part. The positive trend has so far continued into April and May, with contributions from nearly all regions globally. Comparing February year-to-date and April year-to-date, Dufry’s turnover has more than doubled. Within EMEA, the best performing region has been the Mediterranean, but also Southern Europe and the UK have significantly progressed.

In an investors presentation, Dufry confirmed that while continued progress has been witnessed through April and May the trading environment remains fragile given the Covid situation in Asia Pacific coupled with geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties.

Click to enlarge. Source: Dufry.

“Looking at the Americas, Central America & Caribbean, as well as the US continued to trend above group average. The regional performance also started to be supported again by our South American operations, especially by Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador.

“While most regions globally are experiencing an increasing sales trend, most of the APAC countries are still adhering to a zero-Covid policy. Consequently, most of the operations, which cater to international passengers, continue to be closed.”

The travel retail giant reported a marked improvement in equity free cash flow (EFCF) at CHF -86.8m in Q1 2022 compared with CHF -219.3m in Q1 2021.

“Despite the typical seasonality of the business, equity free cash flow in Q1 2022 performed even better than pre-crisis Q1 2019 EFCF of CHF -123.0 million,” continued Díaz. “This result is positively influenced by the measures we have taken over the last two years, including concession reliefs and tighter cash management, with Q1 2022 also partly benefitting from working capital movements and some phasing of CAPEX.”

PERFUMES & COSMETICS LEADS SALES MIX

During Q1, Dufry signed agreements covering new and renewed retail space over 21,915sq m, extending and inking fresh contracts in locations such as Bali, Helsinki, Dominican Republic, California, Mexico and Bulgaria.

A total of 1,158sq m of gross retail space was opened in Q1, linked in the main to Seville, Spain.

Click to enlarge. Source: Dufry.

Other openings included Mexico City (Mexico), Rosario (Argentina), Nador (Morocco), Cayenne (French Guyana), Montego Bay (Jamaica), and Athens (Greece).

On a category level, the mix is similar to that in full-year 2021, with perfumes & cosmetics leading the pack followed by food & confectionery and convenience product offerings (see below image gallery for a more detailed breakdown of sales by category and channel).

CEO Julián Díaz says there has been a ‘well-organised’ transition to the new leadership.

Dufry confirms it continues to support its employees and their families in Ukraine, offering them the option to relocate to other Dufry locations globally.

Local teams are providing support, including financial, legal, administrative and personal, and are appraising and reacting to the changing situation, the company adds.

Diaz confirms that a ‘well-organised transition’ of the leadership reins has taken place in recent weeks to Xavier Rossinyol, who as reported is concentrating on priority axes of development.

Rossinyol was designated CEO and member of the Global Executive Committee on 1 March and takes up the position of CEO on 1 June 2022.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all of you, our stakeholders, and particularly to the Board of Directors and all colleagues at Dufry for the support I have received during the past eighteen years,” added Díaz.

“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I had to lead and contribute to the development of this great company, and I am firmly convinced about Dufry’s prosperous future.”

 

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