Dufry, the Swiss duty-free retailer, has reported first-quarter sales that surpassed expectations in the market. The company attributed this success to the integration of Autogrill, an Italian motorway caterer that Dufry acquired, as well as the recovery of global travel. Dufry operates a vast network of over 2,300 shops worldwide, including those in airports, cruise liners, and tourist locations. Since the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, there has been a strong rebound in global travel, which has positively impacted Dufry’s sales.

One particular region where Dufry experienced significant growth in the first quarter was Asia-Pacific, with sales soaring by an impressive 276.9%. This growth was primarily fueled by the easing of restrictions in China towards the end of last year. Dufry’s CEO, Xavier Rossinyol, emphasized that Asia-Pacific is a key focus for the company’s growth strategy. As part of its 2027 strategy, Dufry plans to allocate additional resources to the region over the next five years. Rossinyol expressed confidence in Dufry’s ability to achieve its full-year guidance based on the strong sales performance and profit margin growth.

In terms of financials, Dufry reported a significant 113.4% increase in first-quarter turnover, reaching 2.35 billion Swiss francs ($2.64 billion). This marked a substantial jump from the 1.12 billion Swiss francs recorded in the same period last year. The quarterly sales even exceeded consensus estimates by 10%. However, some analysts noted that the lack of changes to the full-year forecast might dampen the market’s reaction to the results. J.P. Morgan analyst Harry Gowers mentioned that the stock rally prior to the earnings announcement could potentially lead to a subdued response.

Despite the positive sales performance, Dufry remains cautious due to potential changes in the economic environment. While the company expects favorable developments throughout the year, it emphasizes the importance of prudent planning. Dufry continues to be committed to its strategic initiatives and is progressing with its mandatory takeover offer for the remaining shares of Autogrill. The acquisition of a 50.3% stake in Autogrill was completed in February, and Dufry is on track with its integration plans.

Overall, Dufry’s first-quarter sales results indicate a strong recovery in the travel retail sector. With the successful integration of Autogrill and the rebound in global travel demand, Dufry is well-positioned to seize future growth opportunities. The company’s focus on the Asia-Pacific region and its cautious approach to potential market changes will be crucial in driving sustained success. Investors will closely monitor Dufry’s performance and any updates regarding its strategic initiatives throughout the year.

Useful links:
1. Dufry Official Website
2. Autogrill Official Website