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Kochi, April 23 The duty-free shop at Cochin International Airport Ltd, Nedumbassery, has won the Best Indian Duty-Free Retailer of the year 2007-08 award competing among 11 international duty-free shops in the country.

Disclosing this, the CIAL Managing Director, Mr S. Bharat, said that the prestigious award, conferred by the UK-based Mars International Travel Retail (MITR), would be received at the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) Asia Pacific Retail conference to be held at Singapore on May 13.

Speaking at a function held at the Cochin Duty Free in connection with the Johnnie Walker Gold Mine Lucky Draw, offering a total of two kg of gold among five winners, he said the Duty Free, which accounts for 30 per cent of CIAL’s annual revenue, had registered a 44 per cent growth in revenue during 2007-08, netting Rs 42 crore ($8.75 million) compared to the previous year’s turnover of Rs 32 crore.

Promotional schemes

Several promotional schemes launched by Duty Free in the past had helped boost its sales of which foreign liquors accounted for a major chunk of the sales. Cochin Duty Free had become a trend setter in Indian duty-free business in a short span of nine years of its inception. It has also won the Frontier Award in 2003 for Best partnership, he said.

Mr Bharat said an additional 5,000 sq ft of duty-free shop space would be added at the CIAL’s new international arrival terminal getting completed soon.

Organisers

The two month-long contest organised jointly by CIAL, Alpha Kreol, which runs the Duty Free, DIAGEO India and Joy Alukkas during December 07 –January-08, was open to international passengers buying $28 worth of DIAGEO products from the Cochin Duty Free shop.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 24, 2008)
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