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With a footprint that includes 73 countries, Avolta operates over 5,100 outlets and addresses 2.3 billion passengers across over 1,000 airports, motorways, cruise liners & ferries, seaports, railway stations and other locations. Our unique value proposition for travelers has been further enhanced by a new focus on innovative store concepts, hybrid offerings, data-driven customer insights and digitalization, thus benefitting customer conversion and spending. This continues to contribute positively to our strong industry fundamentals of travel retail and F&B – with secular longterm global passenger growth fueled by an increasingly affluent and expanding population across many countries. 

Unique combination of  Travel Retail and F&B. 

From an organic growth standpoint, our strategic expansion continues with a keen focus on the highly attractive and resilient North American market. At the same time, we are enhancing our dedicated strategy for the Asia-Pacific region where we are bolstering our team to capture the growth driven by the continued recovery of the Chinese travelers and the rising trend of domestic, intra-regional and international travel among other Asian nationalities. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Avolta continues to fine-tune its business development approach with clearly defined priorities and goals. Our Destination 2027 strategy targets mid-term annual organic turnover growth that outpaces passenger growth in the locations operated by Avolta. Over and above this, the fragmented nature of the industry presents opportunities for selective bolt-on M&A with Avolta aligning seamlessly to its new capital allocation policy as defined in 2023 (see dedicated paragraph below).

Resilient business 

Despite the transient challenges faced by our industry and Avolta, we maintain a strong belief that travel retail and F&B is a resilient industry. This is underpinned by the steady increase in global passengers – as corroborated by external aviation industry sources – and the continued recovery momentum observed through to the end of 2023, as well as the willingness of people to travel and prioritize travel-related spending. Travel retail remains a central component of the overall travel experience, and customers continue to be drawn towards attractive product assortments, hybrid offerings and unique travel experiences. Future F&B growth is poised to be supported by favorable industry dynamics including limited in-flight offerings, a growing trend of travelers opting for pre-boarding «grab and go» services, increasing interest in regional cuisine and demand for new experiences and concepts. 

Sustainable profits and strong cash flow generation 

Avolta is committed to delivering turnover growth, improved CORE EBITDA margins and sustainable cash flow generation and evolve our ESG performance, in line with our mid-term outlook provided to the market. Our focus on enhanced profitability is rooted in a zero-based budgeting approach ensuring resources are allocated to activities that make the most impact for the customer, while leveraging technology to streamline work and operations. In line with this budgeting discipline, Avolta actively and systematically manages its concessions portfolio, prioritizing profitability and cash flow contributions. We expect ongoing mediumterm improvements in CORE EBITDA gross margins. Having generated CHF 30 million in synergies in 2023, ahead of expectations, we project an additional CHF 55 million in synergies in 2024, achieving the full run-rate of CHF 85 million one year earlier than we expected at the time of announcing the Dufry/Autogrill combination. 2023 had, and 2024 will see integration-related costs of CHF 25 million annually. Our continuously improving profitability is driving a resilient, sustainable Equity Free Cash Flow (EFCF) conversion from CORE EBITDA.

Avolta systematically manages  its concession portfolio prioritizing profitability and cash flow contribution.

Over a longer-term perspective, our travel retail business has consistently pursued a strategy focused on growth and cash flow generation. We have a demonstrated track record of organic growth aligned with regional passenger trends and passenger mix with overall growth boosted by selective M&A. A key highlight in 2023 was the successful completion of the combination with Autogrill, significantly reinforcing Avolta’s leading position across the global travel retail and F&B industry.

Capital allocation 

In 2023, aligned with its expected strong EFCF projections, Avolta updated its capital allocation policy. Over the medium-term, Avolta’s aim is to align continued balance sheet deleverage with shareholder returns, all the while maintaining some flexibility for organic growth and smaller bolt-on acquisitions. Our medium-term Destination 2027 strategy is based on a target leverage of 1.5 – 2.0x net debt / CORE EBITDA with near-term flexibility of up to 2.5x for relevant business development or bolt-on M&A opportunities. We plan to allocate two-thirds of company EFCF to funding deleverage and external growth, while returning one-third to shareholders under our newly formulated progressive dividend policy. For 2023, this equates to a proposed dividend of CHF 0.70 per share, subject to shareholder approval at the AGM on 15 May 2024. Beyond capital allocation, Avolta remains committed to advancing its ESG commitments and engagement for all stakeholders.

Member of the SMI MID (SMIM) Index

With a market capitalization of CHF 5,084.5 million as per December 31, 2023, Avolta is part of the SMI MID (SMIM) Index on the SIX Swiss Exchange. This index includes the 30 largest publicly listed companies in Switzerland not already represented in the Swiss Market Index (SMI). Avolta’s trading volume in 2023 remained healthy, with an average daily trading volume of approximately CHF 60.2 million. The SIX Swiss Exchange remains an important trading platform, where the average daily volume of Avolta shares reached CHF 19.2 million in 2023. Avolta’s trading volumes are mainly concentrated at the SIX 31.8 % and BATS Chi-X OTC 51.5 % platforms. 

Following the successful closing of the Autogrill transaction in February 2023, Edizione became Avolta’s largest shareholder (22.17 % as per December 31, 2023) joining the company’s other longstanding shareholders who continued to provide unwavering support. Further most important participations (>3 %) as of December 31, 2023, included Advent International Corp., Qatar Holding LLC Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Richemont and BlackRock Inc., together representing 49.1 % of our share capital. 

Strong investment track record for bondholders 

Avolta has been a well-established investment opportunity in the bond market since our first Senior Notes issuance in 2012. On the one hand, the bond market represents an important source of financing for the company, while on the other hand, our low operating leverage as well as the strong and resilient cash flow generation capabilities are characteristics welcomed by the fixed income market. 

Long-term financing strengthened

In December 2022 Avolta had successfully refinanced its main bank credit facilities. A new EUR 2,085 million Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) replaced the EUR 1,300 million RCF and the USD 550 million Term Loan with maturity in December 2027 compared to the previous maturity date in November 2024. 

In April 2023, the EUR 2,085 million RCF has been increased by EUR 180 million, in June 2023 by EUR 410 million and in September 2023 by EUR 75 million to a new total amount of EUR 2,750 million. 

Currently, Avolta holds a (BB) rating with Stable Outlook by Standard & Poors and a (Ba3) rating with Positive Outlook by Moody’s. Both rating agencies have upgraded the credit ratings in the reporting period 2023. 

Fair and comprehensive market communication 

Avolta is committed to open and transparent communications with the financial market as we present our equity story and investment opportunities. This includes a constant, open dialogue with investors, analysts and the media through direct phone and email exchanges, regular roadshows and conference attendance, one-to-one meetings and dedicated investor days, either in person or virtually. 

Senior management actively engage in presenting and discussing our financial performance on a regular basis, and we provide the financial community and media with detailed reports and information through press and analyst conferences, conference calls and webcasts. In this context, Avolta consistently releases quarterly trading update statements for Q1 and Q3, along with publishing full financial results for the half-year and full-year periods. 

As part of our 2023 Investor Relations activities, and considering the Autogrill related MTO, senior management and the Investor Relations team participated in 9 roadshows and 12 conferences in Europe, North America and Asia to meet investors directly or virtually. During this time, we met well over 564 investors in one-to-one or group meetings and many more in presentations. Additionally, the Investor Relations team answered 626 calls and emails in 2023, resulting in a total of 1,190 contacts with investors and analysts. For contact details of Investor Relations, please see the contact section in the bottom right hand corner of this page.

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