FRANCE.  Lagardère Travel Retail reported sales growth of +7.9% to €917 million in the third quarter of 2017, buoyed by business expansion and rise in passenger traffic, especially in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Revenue for the division for the first nine months to 30 September totalled €2,545 million, up +8.6% like-for-like (down -8.6% on a consolidated basis).

Lagardère Group also reported a solid first nine months result. This was powered by the good performance in travel retail as well as publishing and sports and entertainment divisions.

Lagardère Travel Retail’s French business posted +8.4% growth in the third quarter

Group revenue for Q3 2017 amounted to €1,852 million, up +2.2% like-for-like, but down -6.3% on a consolidated basis owing to the divestment of Press Distribution operations by Lagardère Travel Retail.

The results follow a solid first-half performance for the overall Lagardère Group, which continued its like-for-like growth momentum in Q3, maintained by the good results at Lagardère Travel Retail.

Group revenue for the first nine months of 2017 totalled €5,158 million, up +4.2% like-for-like and down -4.6% on a consolidated basis.

Press Distribution divestment

The difference between Lagardère Travel Retail’s like-for-like (+8.6%) and consolidated figures (-8.6%) for the first nine months resulted from an €11 million positive foreign exchange effect owing to the strength of the Polish Zloty, Australian Dollar and Icelandic Krona.

In addition, a €450 million negative impact resulted from the deconsolidation of Press Distribution operations in Belgium, Hungary, Spain and Canada, decreasing revenues by – €464 million. However a €14 million positive impact was gained from acquisitions, particularly duty free operations in Poland (Warsaw Modlin airport) and Estonia.

Another highlight for the division for the third quarter was the duty free concession win at Dakar’s new airport (Senegal). Lagardère is scheduled to open this concession in Q4 2017.

Regional performance in Q3

Regional performance for the travel retail division in the standalone third quarter saw activity in France post a +8.4% growth. This was led by expansion in its activities, particularly Foodservice, and by favourable trends in the product mix, particularly for Relay stores. The duty free segment delivered a good performance, driven in particular by the modernisation of stores at Nice airport.

Modernisation of the Aelia Duty Free stores at Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport helped drive the retailer’s business in France

The EMEA region (excluding France) reported bullish momentum (+12%), with rising traffic and network expansion providing a substantial boost to revenue in Poland and Italy — especially in the duty free and foodservice segments — as well as in the Czech Republic.

North America (+1.4%) experienced a slowdown in growth due to the impact of hurricanes during the period which led to the temporary closure of some airports.

Auckland Airport duty free “disappointing”

Activity was once again mixed in Asia Pacific (+5.6%), said the retailer. Strong momentum in Asia (+15.4%) was led primarily by the growth of fashion stores in China and Hong Kong. However, the company noted a “disappointing” performance in New Zealand duty free (Auckland Airport), driven by a changing passenger mix, the organisation of retail spaces and a sharply negative foreign exchange effect.