Autogrill posts strong start to 2017 as North American airport business flourishes

ITALY/INTERNATIONAL. Food beverage giant and travel retailer Autogrill today posted a +5.1% revenue increase year-on-year (+2.8% at constant exchange rates) for the first four months of 2017. The company noted a particularly strong start to the year for its airport business (+12.4%).

Global revenue growth was driven by the +4.8% like-for-like performance across the board, the group said. “The balance of openings and closings was down by -1.9%, with the new openings of the past months partially offsetting selective renewals in Italy and the reduction of space at Tampa Airport in the USA.

Acquisitions and disposals, made to optimise the Group’s portfolio, balanced each other out, Autogrill said, with a net positive impact of +0.3%. Second half 2017 acquisitions in the USA had an impact of €26 million in 2017. For comparison purposes, the first four months of 2016 generated €21 million in revenue from the French railway stations business, sold in June 2016.

Autogrill benefited from a favourable currency effect of +2.3%, due to the appreciation of the US Dollar. The period was marked by a calendar effect of -0.3%, mainly because 2016 was a leap year.

“These positive results were supported by the excellent performance at airports, where revenue rose by +12.4% in the period (+8.8% at constant exchange rates), mainly due to the sustained growth trajectory in the United States,” the company said. The airport channel posted like-for-like growth of +7.6%.

Revenue in the motorway channel revenue decreased by -0.3%, mainly due to store closures associated with the network rationalisation in Italy. Net of openings and closings, motorways had a positive like-for-like performance of +1.5%.

Revenue in North America grew by +6.7% in the first four months of 2017. Like-for-like growth was “very positive”, at +5.3%, driven by Las Vegas, Seattle, Toronto Pearson and Charlotte airports.

The new openings, including at Chicago, Greensboro, Boston and Houston airports, and the acquisition of CMS more than offset the reduction of the Group’s presence at Tampa Airport and in the shopping malls sector. Group revenue also benefitted from the recent entry into the US airport convenience retail sector through the acquisition of Stellar Partners.

The International arm continued to grow revenue at a double-digit rate, up +16.5% in the period. The robust performance in the region reflected a strong like-for-like growth of +12.4%, mainly thanks to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands, plus Vietnam, India and the UK. New openings, including in the Netherlands, Finland and China, contributed +5.4%.

The Group unwound a joint venture in Indonesia, which had a -1.6% impact on revenue for the region. Autogrill’s development and growth in the fast-emerging Indonesian will continue though, the group noted, pointing out that it recently won a contract in Jakarta Airport’s international terminal worth around €80 million in sales over the next five years.

The currency effect for the International business was -0.2%, while the reporting calendar effect was +0.5%.

Revenue in Europe decreased by -5.2% in the period, mainly due to the disposal of the French railway stations business in 2016 and to selective renewals in the Italian motorways.

Like-for-like revenue growth was +2.3%; this figure includes a +0.6% growth of the Italian motorways; the good performance on Motorways in France and Spain; the continued positive revenue trajectory at Athens, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart Airports; and a favourable year-over-year comparison in Belgium (2016 was affected by Brussels bombings).

Net openings and closings were down -2.8%, impacted mainly by the network rationalisation in Italy and the exit from some low-profitability locations on German motorways. Disposals were down -4.2%, relating to the French railway stations business.

Year-on-year comparisons in Europe were impacted by a negative calendar effect of -0.8% and a currency effect of +0.2%.

NOTE: The Moodie Davitt Report also publishes The Foodie Report, the world’s only media focused on airport (and other travel-related) food beverage. The Foodie Report e-Newsletter is published every two weeks and The Foodie Report e-Zine every month.

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The company also organises the annual Airport Food Beverage (FAB) Conference Awards.

FAB 2017 , hosted by Greater Toronto Airports Authority, will take place in Toronto on 21-23 June. For details, click here.