Italy's Autogrill sees $4 bln in sales this year

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An Autogrill point is seen along the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Great Ring Junction) motorway in Rome, Italy, March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi

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MILAN, May 26 (Reuters) - Italy's Autogrill (AGL.MI), which is exploring a potential tie-up with Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry (DUFN.S), expects sales to reach 3.7 billion euros ($4 billion) this year, up from 2.6 billion euros in 2021.

The group controlled by the Benetton family said the full-year guidance was based on the assumption that there would not be a resurgence in COVID-19 and that the conflict in Ukraine would not escalate in the coming months.

In April Autogrill said it was having talks with industry peers and reviewing its options after media reports on a potential tie-up with Dufry. read more

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On Thursday the group said this year it would focus on strengthening its leadership position, increasing the cash flow and becoming more sustainable. It did not give an update on a possible partnership.

Between January and April the group, which runs restaurants and bars on motorways and airports around the world, reported a 88% rise in like-for-like sales on the back of a positive trend in domestic traffic in North America and Italy.

It posted an operating loss of 34 million euros, marking an improvement compared with a 103 million euro operating loss in the same period last year.

($1 = 0.9339 euros)

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Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by David Evans

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