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NEWS Last modified on November 3, 2014

Duty free operator still in growth mode

Duty free giant, Dufry, claims that a soaring turnover in the first nine months of 2014 show that it is still in “growth mode”.

The travel retail operator’s turnover for the period grew by 12.4%, which it puts down to a combination of organic growth and the consolidation of  The Nuance Group since September 2014.

In absolute terms, turnover reached CHF2,930.9 million and EBITDA reached CHF414.4 million for the first nine months of 2014, generating an EBITDA margin of 14.1%. 

Free cash flow grew by 17.2% and reached CHF273.8 million.

Dufry successfully concluded the acquisition of Nuance on September 9th and has started to consolidate the business since September 2014.

Nuance is a leading travel retailer with more than 60 operations in 19 countries. In 2013, Nuance generated a turnover of CHF2.1 billion and an EBITDA of approximately CHF131 million.

Dufry has already launched the integration process and took financial and operational control of the business.

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The company is now focusing on the analysis of the different business aspects aiming to define the future operating model and prepare a detailed action plan for the different areas, in order to start to generate synergies.

Dufry expects to conclude this phase during the first quarter of 2015.

In terms of synergies, it says the expected CHF70 million will start to materialise in 2015, with the full impact to be reached by 2016.

Julian Diaz, CEO of the Dufry Group, commented: “The integration opens the doors for efficiency gains for both Dufry and Nuance, and we are confident that the targeted CHF70 million of synergies will be fully reflected in the financials until the end of 2016, with part of the results already being shown in 2015.

"The process is very complex, as it is the largest acquisition Dufry has ever done and it will require all our attention and energy. Having said this, we are confident that the project teams for this integration consisting of Dufry, Nuance and PwC executives are up to the challenge and we will manage a successful integration."

He adds: "In terms of outlook, we do not expect the trends to materially change in the short term and the overall scenario for the industry continues to be positive despite some complex geopolitical situations and increased FX volatility in selected markets.

"International passenger numbers, the leading indicator for our business, are expected to grow 5.1% in 2014 and 5.8% in 2015. On the macro-economic environment, we expect to continue seeing some divergence in the regional development.

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"Our diversified concession portfolio, which has been further strengthened with the Nuance acquisition, will support the development of the group, as will our flexible cost structure, which allows adapting quickly in situations of passenger traffic changes.

"To date, 2014 has been so far a year of many challenges and great achievements. Having executed well in many of the projects, we now focus our efforts in the integration and generation of synergies in the Nuance acquisition.”

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