Swiss travel-retail group Dufry’s first-quarter sales rose 2% in organic terms to CHF1.88bn ($1.87bn), driven by strong growth in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North America, but impacted by weak markets in Central and South America.
The Asia Pacific and Middle East regions logged the strongest performance for the quarter, with organic sales climbing 17.3% to CHF305m ($302.7m), mostly driven by contributions from new concessions.
In North America, revenues grew 5.3% in organic terms to CHF442.4m ($439.2m), boosted by strong performance from the duty-paid business.
Organic sales in Europe and Africa rose 2.4% to CHF702.2m ($697m), with regions including Spain, the UK, France, Italy and Africa showing positive growth. Turkey posted double-digit growth, continuing a trend from recent financial quarters.
Central and South America was the only geographic region to post quarterly declines, dropping 10.8% in organic terms to CHF384m ($381.1m). Dufry said Argentina and Brazil were particularly impacted by the devaluation of lower currencies, but noted that operations in Mexico and the Caribbean were buoyed by the Cruise business.
Dufry has continued to expand and refurbish its operations during the quarter, refurbishing 14,400m2 (155,000ft2) of retail space and opening or expanding 9,100m2 (97,952ft2) of space. It said it had signed contracts to open an additional 18,800m2 (202,362ft2) in 2019 and 2020, and plans to refurbish an additional 34,700m2 (373,508ft2) of space through 2019.
For the full year 2019, Dufry is confirming its mid-term organic growth guidance of 3% to 4%.