Exclusive Interview: Dufry’s Julián Díaz (Part II)

By Charlotte Turner |

Julian-Diaz-leadIn part two of an exclusive video interview with TRBusiness, Dufry CEO Julián Díaz says an $8bn sales forecast for 2016 could be realistic for the company, according to analysts and that the company has the intention to deleverage as much as possible in the coming months.

 

During the interview he also discussed the challenges of wielding such a huge organisation and admitted that implementing key decisions, policies and initiatives at store level is very complex. But in the next 6-9 months he expects that Dufry will have been able to significantly improve standardisation.

 

He also spoke of the ‘split’ or difference in opinion of the stakeholders in the industry, which erodes its growth potential. However he says this has probably been exacerbated by global economic conditions which have been equally unique and ‘dangerous’ inside the last 18 months.

 

More positively, he says what he has seen in various regions worldwide in the last 2-3 months has been encouraging.

 

 

“There’s been a tremendous improvement. I say tremendous not with the intention to say ‘huge’. It’s tremendous because the change has actually happened [despite the economic environment]…and it’s continued over the past three months. Also, we have found a way to provide value to customers even in the most difficult situations.”

 

He also says that Chinese spend per pax is improving, even in hard-hit areas such as Hong Kong and Macau. “Is this something which is permanent and sustainable? I don’t know. What I know is that in the first half of 2016 this slowdown in the Chinese economy and the crisis in the stock exchange impacted also the perception about the consumption of these passengers.

 

“But the positive thing is that in the locations where we are present the Chinese spend per pax is improving.”

 

In good spirits he also elaborated on his response to BBC HardTalk interviewer Stephen Sackur, who asked Díaz at the Opening Conference in Cannes how long he planned to stay with the company…

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