31 December 2019
This is the last Stock Watch of 2019 – so it is time to reveal the best and worst performers of the year among the travel retail-related companies we track. Naturally, the figures included here are not the actual year-end figures – those will be noted and assessed in the first column of 2020 – but serve as a guide to 2019 performance.
Japan Airport Terminal Co and DFS co-parent LVMH rank first and second and are considerably ahead of the competition in terms of growth from the start of 2019. As noted in the last column, either could have taken top spot, and in fact both had strong finishes to the year – recording 52-week highs in the past two weeks.
In the end, Japan Airport Terminal Co’s +65.4% growth against 1 January ranked it ahead of LVMH, which finished with a +57.8% increase. As noted in the most recent Stock Watch column, shares in Japan Airport Terminal Co have returned to mid-2018 levels to finish 2019 but are still far short of April 2016 levels. LVMH, by contrast, is in uncharted territory in terms of its stock price.
China Duty Free Group (CDFG) parent China International Travel Service – our top performer in both 2017 and 2018 – takes third place in our ranking this time, at +40.6%. That long-term improvement reflects CDFG’s rapid growth, with many impressive openings both in the airport and downtown channels.
Food & beverage company Autogrill came in fourth; its +29.7% growth represents a very strong performance and a turnaround from 2018, when its share price struggled. A particularly weak second half in 2018 saw shares in the company decline -36.5% from the beginning to the end of the year. Indeed, the company’s current share price is some way short of where it was in June 2018.
Dufry similarly had a tough 2018, with a -35.2% decline – 2019 was better, but shares only increased +4.3% from 1 January to 18 December.
Only three companies had double-digit declines in 2019, compared to seven in 2018 [excluding Elior Group, which sold F&B company Areas in mid-year]. They were Lagardère Group (-11.8%), Hudson (-12.6%) and Duty Free International (-23.1%).
Of the three other companies we track, The Shilla Duty Free parent company Hotel Shilla posted a solid +10.4% increase over the course of the year, while shares in Egypt Free Shops Company increased more modestly, at +3.9%. Finally, SSP Group finished exactly as it began, at £6.50 – at least in the snapshot in time at which Stock Watch finishes for 2019.
The Moodie Davitt eZine
Issue 274 | 31 December 2019
The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 20 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).
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