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Dufry expects business to stabilise in 2021 after annual turnover plunge

Mar 9, 2021

(Reuters) – Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry said on Tuesday it expected its business to stabilise in 2021 after COVID-19 pandemic-driven travel restrictions drove a 71% plunge in full-year turnover.

The Basel-based company’s average monthly cash burn was 45.7 million Swiss francs ($48.84 million) in the second half of 2020, close to its worst-case scenario forecast of about 60 million Swiss francs in November last year.

Dufry’s shares were down 3.7% at 0705 GMT, according to pre-market indications by Julius Baer.

The retailer, which operates more than 2,400 shops at airports, on cruise liners, in seaports, and other tourist locations, has suffered in the past months as countries closed borders to tackle the health crisis.

“We expect a stabilization of the business in 2021,” Chief Financial Officer Yves Gerster said in a report.

Gerster added the company would engage in “growth opportunities in Asia, through digitalization, further channel diversification, and new or renewed concessions in established channels.”

Dufry also estimated two cash flow scenarios for 2021, expecting a cash burn of 40 million Swiss francs at a turnover drop of 55% and a full-year break-even in case of a turnover drop of 40%.

The company said it would propose to keep the dividend for 2020 suspended.

(Reporting by Veronica Snoj and Aida Pelaez-Fernandez in Gdansk; Editing by Aditya Soni)