THE WHAT? Dufry saw sales plummet by some 94 percent in April as passenger numbers dwindled to near nothing.
THE DETAILS The travel retail operator’s turnover dropped 21.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year to CHF1.44 billion, with the situation escalating each month (+0.8 percent growth in January, -2.3 percent as restrictions spread across Asia in February and -55.9 percent in March as lockdowns were enforced globally).
Julián Díaz, CEO of Dufry Group, commented: “At the beginning of 2020, we first saw an acceleration of the business and an encouraging performance. Then the crisis started to impact the travel retail industry and our performance in several locations as of February, leading to a negative performance for the first quarter of 2020.
“We have immediately setup a special committee, who has developed and implemented a comprehensive action plan focused on driving sales, secure cash generation, reduce costs and safeguard our profitability. The action plan has adapted the company’s structure to the current environment and considers different scenarios of full-year sales declines ranging from 40 percent to 70 percent and allowing us to flexibly adapt the measures to the business performance.
“Looking forward, Dufry has already developed a recovery plan on a location-by-location basis and is ready to resume operations as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. The recovery plan is based on each locations’ productivity and includes a whole set of global initiatives to drive sales through promotions and adapting the assortment focusing on new products and exclusivities.”
THE WHY? Growth was significantly impacted by the ‘unprecedented reduction in passenger flows in airports, cruise lines and touristic destinations around the world’ due to the spread of COVID-19 crises, Dufry said.