Dufry reports positive start to year despite challenging South American market conditions

Dufry posted a positive start in 2019 with turnover in the first quarter reaching CHF 1.88bn (US$1.87bn), representing organic growth of 2.0% compared to the first three months of 2018. Gross profit margin further improved and reached 60.3%, said the company.

The positive results were delivered despite the challenging environment still facing business in South America. Excluding the impact of South America, organic growth would amount to 5.6% and like-for-like to 2.0%.

Commenting on the results, Dufry Group CEO Julián Díaz, said: “The good operational performance with an organic growth of 2.0% is a positive development, to which all divisions – except for the South American markets – have contributed. In particular, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East as well as North America have continued with their strong performance, while recovery has started in Europe.”

 Diaz noted that a combination of commercial and marketing initiatives launched in several markets as well as strong contributions from new concessions, supported the ongoing improvement in organic growth.

“Worth mentioning are the new operations at the MTR station in Hong Kong, the new airport in Perth as well as the addition of new cruise ships to our portfolio,” he said.

The company refurbished 14,400 sqm of space in Q1 and plans to refurbish an additional 34,700 sqm in 2019. Dufry also opened and expanded 9,100 sqm of gross retail space and has signed contracts for opening a further 18,800 sqm in 2019/20.

The Americas

Central and South America

South America continues to be a challenge for Dufry, with organic growth for the region down


Revenue fell to CHF384m for the division from CHF 408.1m one year earlier, impacted in large part by the devaluation of the Brazilian and Argentinian currencies. On a positive note, Mexico and the Caribbean posted good performance driven by the Cruise business.

North America

Turnover reached CHF 442.4 million

compared to CHF 404.4 million in Q1 of 2018, with organic growth reaching 5.3%, supported by the company’s healthy duty-paid business.

Rest of the world

Europe and Africa 

Turnover reached CHF 702.2m in Q1 2019 vs CHF 718.5 m in 2018, with organic growth up +2.4%.


Asia-Pacific and Middle East

Turnover increased to CHF 305.0m in Q1 vs CHF 256.5m in 2018. Double digit organic growth reached 17.3%, mainly from the contribution of new concessions.

Eastern Europe was positive, Asia-Pacific growth was driven by new openings including the MTR high-speed railway station in Hong Kong. China, Bali and Cambodia also posted good growth. In Australia, sales grew double digits supported by the start of operations in Perth.

Looking ahead, Diaz said that, with the exception of Brazil and Argentina, “improving market conditions … have continued and are encouraging.” Organic growth in the month of April reached 2.4%, he said.

Note: The release of Dufry’s first quarter 2019 results marks the implementation of the IFRS 16 framework in the financials. Given that the new accounting standards have a significant impact in Dufry’s Income Statement and Balance Sheet, some of the reported figures are not comparable with 2018.