There was some speculation after travel retail-to-food combination Dufry-Autogrill announced a name change to Avolta as to why its website was not already up and running.
Given that the Avolta name is in use by companies ranging from a German electrical retailer to a tech and sustainability M&A house, the task was not straightforward. The entity has settled on AvoltaWorld.com, to where the former Dufry.com URL is being redirected though the Autogrill.com site remains live.
Avolta.com would probably have been better but this choice works given that it takes in the global scale of each of the two merged companies with the word ‘world’, while uniting their retail, convenience, and food and beverage (F&B) arms under one brand to start afresh. This will not affect the company’s customer-facing brands which include Autogrill, HMSHost, Hudson, Nuance, and World Duty Free.
Today also saw Dufry become Avolta on the Swiss Stock Exchange using the AVOL ticker. This, of course, had no material impact on investors and the share price rose marginally. However, since the end of July the stock has seen a steady slide from 44.94 Swiss francs—this year’s high—to today’s 30.57 Swiss francs, just above the year’s low achieved yesterday.
Avolta will therefore be keen to get its new diversified juggernaut firing on all cylinders as soon as possible. The company’s third-quarter trading update showed the weakest gains were in its two biggest regions—North America and EMEA—but proforma like-for-like growth hit a respectable 14.3%, generating revenue of just over $4 billion (3,668.1 million Swiss francs).
A traveler-centric vision
CEO Xavier Xavier Rossinyol is sticking closely to his Destination 2027 strategy, first revealed in September 2022 at a Capital Markets Day in London. It is based on four pillars which cover customized offerings for travelers, diversifying the company’s geographical presence, making operational improvements to drive profitability, and tying it all together with a sharper ESG focus.
“We are now fully traveler-centric. We are not thinking about what we have and how to sell it, but what consumers need and want and to find a way to provide that,” he told me. “Part of this will be about hybrid concepts that include F&B and retail. It’s innovative for the travel retail industry but you see it again and again in domestic scenarios. Now we have the scale to do it across the world.”
Efforts to deliver these combinations are already underway, or coming soon, as follows:
- Hudson Café with Baci at Milan’s Malpensa Airport
- A convergence of concepts now being implemented in some airports in Spain
- Leveraging single-location retail and F&B at Bangalore and Bali airports in Asia, and various U.S. gateways
- A set of travel retail, F&B, convenience, and hybrid concepts will open starting from December at Wuhan’s Tianhe Airport Terminal 2 in Hubei, China, via its first master concession in the country through a joint venture with Hubei Airport Group.
Consensus estimates put Avolta’s full-year 2023 revenue at $13.6 billion (12,315 Swiss francs) and core Ebitda at $1.15 billion (1,041 Swiss francs) with a margin of 8.4%.