(Adds CEO comment from statement, background)
May 20 (Reuters) – Swiss duty free retailer Dufry sees “encouraging signs” for a pick up in foreign travel after pandemic restrictions drove a 67% plunge in its first-quarter underlying turnover.
The retailer, which operates more than 2,300 shops at airports, on cruise liners, in seaports, and other tourist locations worldwide, said on Thursday its first-quarter turnover slumped to 460.3 million Swiss francs ($510 million).
“We are seeing encouraging signs for resuming travel trends and shop re-openings in the regions that have most progressed with vaccination campaigns,” Chief Executive Officer Julian Diaz said in a statement.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said this week it will take several years for the global aviation industry to recover to 2019 capacity levels as airlines have retired aircraft and made critical staff redundant.
Basel-based Dufry confirmed its two average monthly cash flow scenarios for 2021 – break-even if turnover drops 40% and a cash burn of 40 million Swiss francs if turnover falls by 55%.
It also said it was confident it can achieve targeted cost savings for the year.
$1 = 0.9034 Swiss francs Reporting by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez and Veronica Snoj in Gdansk. Editing by Mark Potter