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Italian company wins AENA Duty Free auction

Source: Reuters - Mon 10th Dec 2012
Italian company wins AENA Duty Free auction

Italy's Autogrill, the world's biggest airport retailer, outbid rivals to run duty free shops at 20 Spanish airports owned by public operator AENA, including key hubs such as Madrid and tourist destinations Malaga and Ibiza.

AENA's board will study Autogrill's offers , and formalise its decision on the auctions at a meeting on Dec. 18, Spain's Ministry of Public Works said on Monday.

Autogrill, which bid via Spanish subsidiary World Duty Free Group, won out in 2 out of 3 auctions held earlier today.

Autogrill already runs duty free shops at most of the airports where outlets were up for grabs.

The results of the bidding for a 3rd batch of retailers, at 6 further airports, will be announced later on Monday.

The 1st lot of duty free shops were based at airports like Madrid and in many northern destinations such as Bilbao in Spain's Basque country. Barcelona and the Mediterranean island of Ibiza are included in the 2nd lot of 9 airports.

Passenger traffic at Spain's airports is on the wane, however, and AENA data showed on Monday that there were nearly 10% fewer travellers passing through its airports in November than the year before.

In total for the 2 lots, AENA said it would receive around 1.64 billion out of Autogrill's projected earnings over the 2013-2020 contracts, without giving details.

Autogrill reported revenues of around 532 million at the Spanish airports where it operated in 2011, or 9% of its global sales.

All of the groups submitting offers have also pledged big investments in the airport stores, AENA said, including new designs for the shops.

Autogrill shares rose after the announcement, outperforming a negative Italian market. They closed up 1.51% at 7.75.

The Italian group beat off competition from 3 other bidders in the 1st round, and 2 rivals in the 2nd auction.