Duty free division of Lagardere Services, LS travel retail, has reported an 8% increase in its sales for the first half (H1) of 2012 when compared to corresponding period in the last fiscal.

The company attributed the growth to new concession gains, new business acquisitions across the continents and on the improved performance of existing operations which includes the implementation of new business initiatives and collaborations.

In France, turnover generated on duty-free and luxury sales was up by 23% in the six months to 30 June 2012, reported DFNIonline.com.

The key factors fueling the growth were the acquisition of the fashion outlets at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports; the modernization of stores; commercial initiatives undertaken by airports such as Lyon St Exupéry; new openings on Réunion Island and good inflight performances.

The business In Germany grew by 10% following the opening of six new airport outlets and the postponement of the opening of Berlin Brandenburg airport from June to March 2013.

Business increased by 19% in Poland due to increased traffic and souvenir sales from the Euro 2012 football tournament while weak competition at Warsaw airport and the expansion of the network with the takeover of three sales outlets also helped.

In the Czech Republic sales were up by 34% fueled by the purchase of 16 sales outlets from UG-AIR, where the like-for-like sales growth was 10%.

Sales in Romania and Bulgaria bpth increased by 20%, while in Spain posted a 10% growth due to strong fashion sales at Malaga and Alicante airports.

The Pacific region sales were up by 4.5% due to the modernization of its stores at La Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia, which generated a 40% increase in sales.

New Zealand retail outlets taken over in the first half of 2011 also contributed positively to the results.

In Asia, ls travel retail gained 57 new sales outlets in China, Singapore and Hong Kong in the first half of the year, driving sales forward by 43%.

North American turned in the only single-digit growth at 2% attributed to concessions for travel essentials in Boston, Edmonton, and Montego Bay besides the success of the iStore concept and the shutdown of operations in Winnipeg.