Duty free retailer Dufry ups 2021 targets on travel pickup - Metro US

Duty free retailer Dufry ups 2021 targets on travel pickup

FILE PHOTO: A duty free shop belonging the the Dufry group in a departure lounge at Denpassar international airport in Bali

(Reuters) – Swiss duty free retailer Dufry raised its 2021 savings target and free cash flow guidance for the second time this year, citing a recovery in travel from the pandemic-related slump, primarily in the Western hemisphere.

The retailer, which operates more than 2,300 shops at airports, on cruise liners, in seaports, and other tourist locations, is seeing signs of recovery after being severely hit over the last year and a half by the travel restrictions imposed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The group’s recovery has been specially driven by its main sector, The Americas, which made for 499 million Swiss francs ($543.16 million) of its 1.3 billion Swiss franc third quarter turnover.

“We have seen continued progress in the US and Central America including the Caribbean Islands,” Chief Executive Julian Diaz said in a statement.

The group now expects to achieve up to 1.87 billion Swiss francs ($2.04 billion) in savings in personnel and other expenses compared to pre-pandemic levels, up from 1.2 billion Swiss francs forecast in August, and above the 1.3 billion Swiss francs in savings recorded in 2020.

The Basel-based company also notched up its free cash flow targets for 2021, now expecting a monthly cash inflow of 13 million Swiss francs, while assuming turnover 40% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019, or a 13 million Swiss franc cash burn with turnover %55 below 2019 levels. It earlier had predicted to break even with turnover %40 down from 2019 and a cash burn of 30 million Swiss francs with turnover 55% below 2019 levels.

($1 = 0.9187 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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