DDF reports ‘amazing year’, but warns brands against price increases

By Charlotte Turner |

Ramesh Cidambi, COO Dubai Duty Free.

Ramesh Cidambi, COO Dubai Duty Free.

In a video interview to be published in the November/December e-zine, Dubai Duty Free’s COO, Ramesh Cidambi tells TRBusiness the company has enjoyed an ‘amazing year’ so far and that he anticipates sales of Dhs6.6bn/$1.8bn for 2023. Dubai Duty Free confirmed that it is targeting Dhs6.1bn sales in 2022.

 

He said that the company’s focus was to improve penetration and sales per passenger in the coming months, as so-called revenge spending has moderated in recent months.

 

“I think from the point of view of the internal work we are doing and the retail development that we do, the macroeconomic factors don’t really have a major impact. However, they will impact the customers propensity to spend.

 

“So, we are very concerned about the fact that there has been a series of price increases during the course of the year because we are in a higher inflationary environment.

 

“We are very concerned about the fact that interest rates are rising and will probably continue to rise and we are very concerned about the fact that the dollar has been so strong.”

 

Ramesh Cidambi on stage at the 2022 TR Consumer Forum - organised by TRBusiness and m1nd-set - discussing the company's performance.

Ramesh Cidambi on stage at the 2022 TR Consumer Forum – organised by TRBusiness and m1nd-set – discussing the company’s performance in the context of macroeconomic influences.

 

Cidambi clarified that customers from the Indian Subcontinent, which currently contribute to 25% of DDF’s business, are directly affected by the strength of the US dollar. But it is not just DDF’s Indian passengers who will be impacted.

 

“Europe represents 20% of our business. The dollar strength against the Euro and the Pound continues to impact European customers, too,” adds Cidambi.

 

“The combination of higher interest rates, dollar strength and potentially high energy costs in Europe and softening of economies are the real headwinds for us in terms of achieving our forecast for next year, which we think will be around Dhr 6.6bn.”

 

The full-length video interview will be published within the November/December e-zine.

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