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Focus Story

Focus story

Resilient Business Model Driving New Growth Avenues

Through the integration of the transformational acquisitions, the standardization achieved through the implementation of the new business operating model, the alignment of the company’s corporate culture, the launch of its digital strategy and the ongoing refinement of its retail excellence, Dufry is well prepared to drive further growth and access new avenues of development.

Dufry's Profitable Growth Strategy 

Ever since its IPO back in 2005, Dufry has consistently built and executed on its Global Ambition strategy of profitable growth, which is based on 3 main pillars:

  • Global presence and geo-graphic diversifi cation to benefit from the world-wide resilient passenger growth, while at the same time mitigating local temporary risks.
  • Growth focused on activities, allowing to generate synergies, as well as on organic footprint expansion across several travel retail channels and covering a wide product mix.
  • Standardization and refinement of operational excellence to maximize efficiencies and generate attractive returns and value creation for shareholders.

4,197 - 8,849

Turnover doubled

Turnover doubled from 2014 – 2019; reaching CHF 8,849 million

470,000 m2

Retail Space Expanded

Retail space increased by over 75 % from 2014 – 2019

1,688 - 2,400

Shops Increased

Number of shops increases from 1,688 to over 2,400 from 2014 – 2019

Gross Profit

Margin Improved

Gross Profit Margin improves from 58.7 % in 2014 to 60.2 % in 2019

In the past 5 years (2014 – 2019) Dufry has considerably accelerated the implementation of its strategy. This period has been characterized by a series of distinctive steps, which have transformed the company and prepared the ground for further growth – steps, which can be described as follows:

1. Setting up of Global Supply Chain

One of the first steps of the Global Ambition strategy implementation has been the internal re-organization and the setup of a global supply chain with centralized procurement and logistics departments. This has fostered the ongoing improvement of the gross profit margin, created efficiencies for the company and simplified the tight collaboration with and for our suppliers.

2. Transformational Acquisitions

Besides the acquisitions executed between 2006 and 2013, those of Nuance and World Duty Free boosted Dufry’s market share in airport travel retail from 10 % in 2013 to well over 20 % in 2015, thus offering brand partners a unique global window display. The two acquisitions generated CHF 195 million of immediate synergies and paved the way for additional efficiency gains through further standardization.

3. Implementation of the New Business Operating Model

Following the integration of the two acquisitions, Dufry implemented the new business operating model (BOM) to standardize processes, procedures and ways of working. The BOM generated CHF 50 million of additional efficiencies.

4. Digital Strategy to Satisfy New Customer Profiles and Shopping Behaviors

Today’s new customer profiles make an extensive use of digital technology creating substantial new requirements for the travel retail industry and the shopping experience. Dufry’s digital strategy takes this new shopping behavior into account and creates a consistent customer engagement from the moment a trip i planned until the passenger returns home, through several communication touch points and new online services to facilitate sales and shopping experience. As per year-end 2019, Dufry had 13 New Generation Stores; 5,000,000 customers included in its CRM system; 170 locations with the Reserve & Collect service; 111 shops using digital tablets to serve customers, as well as its own social media channel FORUM by Dufry. All focused on driving like-for-like sales and growth.


5. Returning Cash to Our Shareholders

In the years before the transformational acquisitions, Dufry’s capital allocation strategy focused on deploying its free cash flows purely into further growth and on deleveraging. As of 2018, the capital allocation strategy has been evolved to allow shareholders to benefit from the strong cash generation capacity of the company on a yearly basis. Thus, close to CHF 800 million of cash were returned to shareholders in the past two years. Dufry distributed close to CHF 200 million of dividends per year in 2018 and 2019 and executed on top a CHF 400 million share buy-back program in 2018. Dividend payments remain a company priority going forward.

6. Considerable Improvement of Governance and ESG Engagement

Reflecting the company’s transformation and the increased importance of sustainability, Dufry has permanently refined its Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) engagement and started to report on its material ESG topics based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) CORE option. Most recently, Dufry has established the new Lead Independent Director role at the Board of Directors level, to which Ms. Heekyung Jo Min has been appointed. Moreover, Ms. Jo Min will also be responsible for the supervision of Dufry’s ESG strategy.

Outlook with New Growth Avenues Ahead 

In 2019, Dufry has accelerated again its strategy of profitable growth, through ongoing improvement of organic growth as well as small and mid-sized acquisitions. While organic growth further increased in existing and new channels, the three most recent acquisitions (OHM Concession Group LLC, Brookstone and RegStar Vnukovo) confirm this strategic approach and are expected to add a total of approx. CHF 150 million to Group turnover.

3 – 4 %

Organic Growth

Mid-term average organic growth target of 3 – 4 % per annum

350 – 400 Million

Mid-term annual Equity Free Cash Flow target of CHF 350 – 400 million; growing in line with top line


The acquisition of OHM Concession Group LLC. executed by our subsidiary Hudson Ltd is a pivotal step in accelerating the U.S. expansion beyond retail and into the airport food & beverage services market. Besides adding as immediate effect to Hudson’s revenues and footprint – OHM operates 60 units across 13 airports and generated revenues of around USD 62 million in 2018 – the acquisition has two important strategic components: first, it enhances Hudson’s competences and capabilities in the North American food & beverage market; and second, it gives access to additional airport locations where Hudson was not present.



Hudson Ltd also acquired 34 Brookstone shops across several airports in the U.S. including the exclusive right to sell selected Brookstone merchandise in Hudson shops, and to further expand the brand in the airport channel, thus complementing the overall retail offer. Brookstone is an established American brand, well known for its unique selection of innovative products in the travel, wellness, home and entertainment categories, and it perfectly complements Hudson’s convenience assortment.



Through the acquisition of the 60 % stake of RegStaer Vnukovo, Dufry consolidated its position in Russia, especially in Moscow, extracting further synergies with the integration of operations at Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports. Vnukovo airport handles 22 million passengers per year, and includes a long-term concession, until 2035, with more than 30 duty-free and dutypaid shops across a retail space of over 6,800 m2. The Vnukovo operation is a typical example of small and mid-size targets Dufry intends to acquire, with a focus on Asian markets.

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