Dubai Duty Free announced first quarter sales of Dhs1.91 billion (US$523.46 million) representing an 11% over the same period last year and signaling a positive start to 2018 on the back of record sales of Dhs7.05 billion (US$1.93 billion) in 2017.
Sales for March reached a new monthly record of Dhs660.36 million (US$180.92 million), which represents a 10% increase over March 2017. So far this year, monthly sales are in excess of Dhs600 million (US$164.38 million), with an average daily sale of Dhs21.23 million (US$5.82 million).
Commenting on the positive sales performance, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free said: “We are very pleased with the first quarter of the year sales and are focused on reaching our targets for the year. Sales are ahead of passenger numbers at Dubai International Airport and we are seeing double digit growth across a wide number of categories.”
Sales across all three Terminals at Dubai International Airport showed an upward trend, including a 14% increase in Terminal 2 and a 13% increase in sales in Terminal 3.
Liquor, Perfumes and Tobacco held the top three spots category-wise in the first quarter of the year. Perfume sales reached over Dhs276 million (US$75.7 million), accounting for 14% of total revenue. Sales of Tobacco was up by 37% to Dhs220 million (US$60.33 million) while Cosmetics was up by 25% to Dhs183 million (US$50.04 million) accounting for 10% of total sales.
Other categories showing robust growth included Electronics, up 34% to over Dhs169 million (US$46.41 million) while Watches rose by 16% to Dhs127 million (US$34.80 million).
“There are a number of factors behind the sales growth, including the refurbishment of Concourse C, which will be fully completed shortly and other ongoing projects,” said Mr. McLoughlin.
“While the introduction of VAT and Excise duty in our Arrivals Duty Free has resulted in a drop in revenue in these areas, the fact that VAT is not applicable for the majority of sales in Departures has contributed to an increase in certain categories for departing and transit passengers.”
Looking ahead, Dubai Duty Free will continue to enhance its retail operation in 2018 including the expansion of the Passenger Terminal Building at Al Maktoum International, a Fashion revamp in Terminal 3-Concourse B and refurbishment of Terminal 1 – Concourse C.
In the meantime, the operation is continuing with its busy events and promotional calendar, which includes the Dubai Duty Free Stakes taking place at the Newbury Racecourse in the UK on 20 and 21 April, followed by the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival (28th -30th June) and Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (5th-8th July) to be held in Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal.