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Duty Free Philippines brandishes business rebound in 2023, eyes pre-pandemic level sales

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Acknowledging the challenges that the entire tourism industry in the country (and in the entire world) encountered during the pandemic and how Duty Free deals with some minor concerns about the issue of the endemic COVID-19 disease, overall, the top executive of Duty Free Philippines remains bullish for 2024.

Speaking to the media during the first post-pandemic business update, Vicente Pelagio A. Angala, Duty Free Philippines’s Chief Operating Officer shared how the entire team navigated through unprecedented challenges, deftly balancing the complexities of operational cost management and the pursuit of heightened sales opportunities. 

Pandemic halted sales growth momentum

While an uptick trend in sales in Duty Free Philippines was palpable during year 2019, with a stellar performance of US$226 million dollars, while witnessing a parallel surge in income of ₱464 million pesos. Notably, DFP’s unwavering commitment translates to a significant 243 million pesos contribution to the Department of Tourism (DOT) for government tourism programs and projects, fortifying crucial support for government-driven tourism initiatives. Even in the face of the global pandemic’s temporary disruption, the company’s resilience, coupled with strategic adaptations, paved the way for survival and a steadfast recovery. 

Angala also presented DFP’s accomplishments for the year 2023, marked by a 53% increase in sales during the fiscal year compared to 2022. 

“We struggled to rise to the occasion but demonstrated our strength and resilience as an organization that can adapt and improve,” Angala said. 

Expressing gratitude to Secretary Cristina Garcia Frasco for her unwavering support, DFP is set on a path of business recovery. The company has experienced a remarkable resurgence, driven by a steady increase in sales, particularly in top categories such as chocolates and confectionery, liquors and wines, and perfumes and cosmetics. 

In a dedicated effort to showcase local products to international travelers, DFP achieved total sales of 3.3 million dollars, showcasing a 312% increase from the previous year. Collaborating with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the company is committed to featuring and representing Philippine culture and craftsmanship. 

To enhance accessibility to Duty Free goods, the company resumed its operations in Bacolod, Kalibo, and Iloilo international airports, with plans for additional stores at Clark Terminal 2 and the introduction of an online shopping platform. 

Looking ahead to 2024, DFP embraces the challenge of increasing sales and income by 64%, aiming to reach 167 million dollars. 

“Thank you to all our loyal customers, our modern day-heroes, the OFWs, balikbayans, and their families for their love for pasalubong shopping. Indeed, it is our love for family that excites us to experience pasalubong shopping at Duty Free,” said COO Angala. 

As Duty Free Philippines continues its journey, the company eagerly anticipates sustained collaborations and partnerships, inviting everyone to be part of this exciting adventure. 

Duty Free Philippines Corporation, as the country’s sole operator of the duty-and tax-free merchandising system, is mandated to cater to the duty-free shopping needs of international travelers including balikbayans and OFWs. As an attached agency of the DOT, DFPC contributes its earnings to the development of the country’s tourism programs and projects. 

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