In the latter half of 2020, Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry faced a considerable cash burn that closely approached their worst-case scenario forecast. In November of the same year, the company projected a monthly cash burn of 60 million Swiss francs, and although they fell just short, they reported an average burn rate of 45.7 million Swiss francs.

Headquartered in Basel and operating in 65 countries with over 2,400 shops, Dufry also showcased a decline in their annual turnover. In 2020, the company reported a turnover of 2.56 billion Swiss francs, representing a staggering drop of 71.1% from the previous year. This decrease slightly exceeded the company’s prediction of a 70% decrease. The steep decline can be attributed to the impact of international travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted Dufry’s retail operations.

The global travel industry has undoubtedly been one of the hardest hit sectors due to the ongoing pandemic. With travel restrictions and lockdown measures in place worldwide, consumers had no choice but to forgo their travel plans, leading to a significant decrease in demand for duty-free products. Dufry, being a major player in the duty-free retail market, inevitably felt the repercussions of this decline in both travel and sales.

Dufry’s financial performance in the second half of 2020 serves as an unfortunate reflection of the challenges faced by the global travel retail industry. The company’s cash burn, which essentially measures the rate at which they utilize their cash reserves, highlights the strain placed on their financial resources. The close resemblance to their worst-case scenario forecast underscores the severity of the situation.

Nevertheless, Dufry remains cautiously optimistic about the future. The company has implemented various cost-cutting measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis, such as reducing staffing levels, renegotiating rental agreements, and optimizing inventory management. Additionally, Dufry is actively exploring opportunities to expand into new markets and diversify their product offerings.

Furthermore, Dufry closely monitors the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. The successful deployment of vaccines is highly anticipated, as it will likely facilitate the recovery of the travel industry by allowing for the easing of travel restrictions and the restoration of consumer confidence.

In conclusion, Dufry, alongside numerous other companies in the travel retail industry, has faced overwhelming challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The substantial decline in turnover and high cash burn emphasize the impact of the crisis on Dufry’s financial performance. However, the company remains resilient and takes proactive measures to navigate through these difficult times. With the continuous progress of vaccination efforts, there is hope for the recovery of the travel industry, presenting opportunities for Dufry to regain its momentum.

Useful links:
Dufry Official Website
World Health Organization COVID-19 Information