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Tue 23 Aug 2011 12:30 PM

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Dubai Duty Free to help finance airport expansion

State-backed retailer will inject funds to finance fourth concourse at Dubai International

Dubai Duty Free to help finance airport expansion
Dubai Duty Free is the worlds largest airport retailer, with $1.27bn in sales in 2010

Dubai Duty Free said Tuesday it would part-finance the building of a fourth concourse at Dubai International Airport, in its first large-scale infrastructure investment.

The world’s largest airport retailer, which raked in $1.27bn in sales in 2010, is state-owned, and the investment forms part of a wider plan to inject $7.8bn into expanding Dubai’s airports.

“Dubai Duty Free will part-finance the development of Concourse 4 at Dubai International Airport in cooperation with Dubai Airports,” Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free (DDF) said in an emailed statement.

The company did not specify the size of the investment.

The retailer has previously financed the construction of its AED500m headquarters and a five-star hotel in Dubai’s Aviation Club.

Dubai in July said it would spend $7.8bn on expanding its airports as it seeks to turn Dubai International into the world’s busiest airfield. The airport plans to complete Concourse 3, meant for the use of Emirates’ Airbus A380 planes, by 2012 and to build Concourse 4 by 2015.

Emirates Airline is the world’s biggest international airline by traffic.

The airport plans to boost capacity to 75 million travelers a year by 2012 and to 90 million by 2018, from 60 million now, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said in July.

The expansion was to be funded by cash flow from Dubai Airports and Dubai Duty Free.

DDF last month announced half year sales of AED2.54bn ($691m), representing a 16.6 percent increase over the same period last year.

The retailer’s top-selling categories continued to be perfumes, liquor and gold with perfume sales increasing by 20 percent to reach AED361m.

Sales of electronic goods also rose 22 percent for the first half of the year to reach AED196m, while watch sales rose by 41 percent.

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