WDFG revenue +11.6% in early 2014 following ‘transformational’ year

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World Duty Free Group has recorded revenue increases of 11.6% year-on-year at constant exchange rates in the first eight weeks of 2014 compared to the previous year.

However, 2013 figures for the recently demerged WDF S.p.A showed a profit loss of 958,417 Euros.

Full year 2013 financial results released by the company today showed consolidated revenues for the group of Euros 2,078.5 million at close of 2013, which at constant exchange rates is up 7.1% against the previous year.

A major announcement last year was the acquisition of the travel retail division of HMS Host in the United States from Autogrill, while consolidation of its core markets In the UK and Spain and the listing of WDF S.p.A on the Borsa Italiana following a proportional partial demerger from Autogrill tops an impressive list of achievements for the group.

“The exchange rate trends of the currencies other than the Euro in which WDFG operates had a negative impact on revenue which at current exchange rates increased by 3.8% against the previous year’s figures of Euro 2,002.0 million, in particular due to the revaluation of the Euro against the pound sterling and the US Dollar,” the company said In a statement.

The US Retail Division, acquired in September 2013, had an impact on total revenues of Euro 44.8 million. The Group’s revenue growth at constant exchange rates and excluding the contribution of the US Retail Division would have been +4.8%.

Net profit was EUR 105.8m vs. EUR 100.7 million in 2012 (up 10.2% at constant exchange rates, 5.1% at current exchange rates).

Net financial position was EUR 1,026.7 million an increase of EUR 477.7m compared to 2012, due to the payment of dividends before the demerger, acquisitions and the advance payment to AENA.

EBITDA in 2013 was Euro 254.8 million, up 0.6% at constant exchange rates (down -2.9% at current exchange rates) from Euro 262.3 million in the same period of 2012.

EBITDA margin amounted to 12.3% of total revenue compared to 13.1% in 2012.

The company said the decrease in EBITDA margin was largely due to the increase in rental costs, mainly as a consequence of its clean sweep of contract extensions in Spanish airports awarded by AENA Aeropuertos in 2012.

“The already commented changes in the business perimeter have also adversely impacted the EBITDA margin, due to the effect of start-up operations; mainly in Düsseldorf (Germany), and the dilution stemming from the acquisition of the US Retail division, with a natural EBITDA margin which is lower than the average margin of the Group,” it added.

Cash EBITDA -calculated as the sum of EBITDA plus the recovery of annual concession fees paid in advance to Spanish licensor AENA – amounted to Euro 274.4 million vs. 262.3m in 2012 (up 8.0% at constant exchange rates, 4.6% at current exchange rates).

Regional results

Operations in the UK recorded revenues of Euro 975.6 million, +6.2% at constant exchange rates (+1.4% at current exchange rates) supported by traffic growth of +3.6% (Source: BAA, airport of Manchester and Gatwick Jan – Dec 2013) alongside a higher average spend per passenger.

Key consolidation in one of the company’s core markets also saw the extension of contracts with Manchester and London-Stansted Airports.

Travelling in the UK In 2012 was more expensive due to the Olympic Games and the effect of higher pound sterling exchange rates.

Spend per passenger in 2013 was slightly higher than in 2012, despite more passengers travelling to European destinations in 2013.

Sales for the rest of Europe were Euro 620.7 million, up 4.0% compared to Euro 596.9 million in 2012.

“This increase is due to the contribution of the new operations in Düsseldorf, which more than offset the negative growth rate recorded in the Spanish airports (-4.1%), affected by the drop in traffic (-3.5%) and the impact of the closing of the Boutiques6,” said a statement.

“This negative performance was due to the effect of a lower number of Iberia flights and to a passenger-mix, which was less favourable with fewer business passengers and higher tourist volumes.”

Revenues in the Americas amounted to Euro 322.2 million, up +19.4% at constant exchange rates (+14.8% at current exchange rates) compared to 2012.

The inclusion of the US retail business contributed Euro 44.8 million. Excluding this contribution, Americas grew +2.8% at constant exchange rates, despite the negative impact of the exit from duty free operations in Atlanta and Orlando.

The Group’s revenue growth at constant exchange rates and excluding the contribution of the US Retail Division would have been +4.8%.

In Asia and Middle East revenues totalled Euro 160 million, up +2.6% at constant exchange rates (-1.6% at current exchange rates) compared to 2012.