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The opening of 5,000sq m of retail space in Gdansk has helped Lagardère towards growth

New stores drive growth across Lagardère Travel Retail network

Lagardère Travel Retail has revealed each of its regional divisions saw year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2018.

In the financial results for its parent company, Lagardère Group, for the first three months of 2018, Lagardère Travel Retail posted revenue of €802m ($947.45m), an 11% like-for-like increase on 2017.

This also represented a 5.2% increase on a consolidated basis, a slightly lower percentage than the like-for-like growth because of negative foreign exchange effect, primarily due to the depreciation of the US dollar.

Regional breakdown

This growth was reflected in all the regions Lagardère Travel Retail operates in.

Business in France was up 2.1% on 2017 for the duty-free retailer, despite the negative impact of foreign exchange rates. The company reported this growth was due to the modernisation of stores, particularly the shops at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.

In its EMEA (excluding France) department, Lagardère saw solid growth of 15.6%. This was primarily down to new stores in Geneva, Gdansk and Dakar, as well as strong sales in Eastern Europe.

The new concession Lagardère is operating as part of a joint venture with China Duty Free Group in Hong Kong International Airport, good performances in Chinese fashion stores and a strong duty-free industry in New Zealand resulted in the retailer’s Asia Pacific region growing 34.4% on 2017.

Meanwhile, Lagardère’s North America operations grew 1.7% thanks to positive momentum in its travel essentials and food service operations.

“A very strong figure”

Lagardère Travel Retauil CEO Dag Rasmussen said he was pleased with the double-digit like-for-like global growth and revealed the retailer’s expectations for the full year.

“11% is obviously a very strong figure. As we said for the year, we probably would be between 7% and 9%, something like that. Having in mind that 11% is organic growth, I would say half of that is pure like-for-like. The rest is, again, of contracts like the ones in the Hong Kong, Geneva, Senegal. So obviously, when we will have the anniversary of these contracts, it will automatically slow down. So the 11% will not go on for the whole year most likely,” he said.

 

Growth engine

Lagardère Travel Retail is part of the wider Lagardère Group, which also operates in fields including publishing. However the travel-retail arm was the strongest performing in the Group, with the wider Group posting revenue for the quarter of €1.53bn, a 5% like-for-like increase on 2017.

This strong performance for the first quarter for the travel-retail arm backs up what the Group’s General and Managing Partner Arnaud Lagardère said at the company’s Annual General Meeting held earlier in May, where he billed travel retail as the “growth engine” for the group.

He reiterated this following the Q1 financial results, saying: “[The results are] a very good achievement for all of us and especially for publishing and travel-retail, which leads me to say again, and again, and again, as I said to the general assembly that we definitely have our 2 engines of growth and power for the years to come.”

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