Exclusive video interview: Dufry’s Julián Díaz (Part 2)

By Luke Barras-hill |

DufryHillIn the second of an exclusive two-part video interview with TRBusiness, Dufry CEO Julián Díaz talks frankly about Chinese tourism conglomerate HNA Group’s ‘very important’ role in helping to grow the business.

HNA Group, which now accounts for a 20.92% shareholding in the globe’s leading travel retailer after closing the acquisition of a 16.79% stake earlier this year (click here for the original story), has already held ‘several meetings’ with Dufry across various areas including airlines, hotels and tour operations.

“There is a clear intention from Dufry to expand travel retail in Asia in specific channels and territories,” confirmed Diaz. “With this investment from HNA, I feel we are stronger now in understanding the markets and developing strategies in each of them.

“With this new Asia shareholder I feel we have gained part of the business model that probably we were missing: the local aspect.”

Discussing the wider business, Diaz reconfirms that organic growth in the first half 0f this year has been one of the most successful on record, with double-digit performances in the majority of emerging market destinations coupled with solid progress in Europe.

However, while he is encouraged to see the revival in Russian travellers, he views any immediate recovery in spend per passenger as unlikely in the short term.

Diaz also made clear he is in ‘no hurry’ to pursue an Independent Public Offering (IPO) and stock market listing for the North American duty free and duty paid business as publicly stated earlier this year.

Instead, any consideration for a business labelled a ‘great asset’ to the Dufry engine would depend on the right evaluation.

Click above to see the full interview and watch out for the November print issue of TRBusiness, available soon, for further Dufry insight and analysis.


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