In 2014, LeasePlan successfully continued along its strategic path for sustainable growth and profitability, focusing on further penetration of existing markets and selective geographic expansion.
LeasePlan’s results in 2014 reflected the company’s ability to consistently deliver strong profitability. Net profit increased 14% to EUR 372 million compared to EUR 326 million in 2013. The company benefited from volume growth, the scale advantages of the business model, a combination of risk mitigating measures and a strong market for second hand vehicles. There is a high demand for well-maintained ex-lease vehicles, particularly in mature European markets. Total assets increased to EUR 19.7 billion compared to EUR 19.1 billion at year-end 2013, mainly as a result of volume growth.
Increased customer confidence in several geographies led to a further rise in the number of vehicles under management. The fleet rose to 1.42 million from 1.37 million at year-end 2013, above the pre-crisis (2008) record level of 1.39 million vehicles. In emerging markets such as Mexico and Brazil, LeasePlan saw continued growth with existing and new clients. The LeasePlan companies in Romania, Greece and Ireland also reported a substantial volume increase in the number of vehicles under management compared to 2013. LeasePlan International (LPI), a dedicated entity managing the accounts of large international clients worldwide, successfully grew its business with existing clients and secured important new contracts. In 2014, LPI realised an incremental growth of 18,000 vehicles, which is approaching the pre -crisis level annual growth, reaching a total of close to 400,000 vehicles under management with international clients.
LeasePlan Canada opened for business at the beginning of 2014, leading to full coverage for clients who operate throughout North America. LeasePlan now provides a full spectrum of services in the US, Mexico and Canada which includes leasing, maintenance, repair, accident management and vehicle remarketing.
LeasePlan signed an agreement in November to acquire full ownership of LeasePlan Turkey. It currently manages a fleet of more than 14,000 cars and is one of the leading players in the Turkish fleet management industry. Completion of this transaction is expected shortly.
LeasePlan’s international network currently covers 32 countries across 5 continents.
INNOVATIVE NEW SOLUTIONS
LeasePlan continued to invest in innovative solutions to provide the best services for supporting car mobility. The company specifically targets growing market segments such as small and medium enterprises. LeasePlan Spain and LeasePlan Denmark have launched flexible short term leasing.
During 2014, a significant focus area for additional services was insurance. The roll out of the new fleet insurance proposition ‘3D Coverage’ brought this service to big fleets that traditionally contracted with generalist insurers. This product clearly demonstrated the substantial administrative benefits that can be gained when fleet management and fleet insurance are both carried out by a fleet specialist with extensive expertise in providing both services.
Also in 2014, LeasePlan further increased its focus on services for the individual lease driver. ‘My LeasePlan’ is a user-friendly mobile application that enables drivers to check the maintenance status of their vehicle and to report damages easily. LeasePlan noticed a growing interest from fleet managers in influencing driver behaviour with regard to fleet optimisation. Telematics services can play a vital role in this area. LeasePlan’s fleet management expertise has helped fleet managers achieve demonstrable cost savings through an increased focus on fuel costs and a reduction of driver incidents and vehicle emissions. LeasePlan clients appreciated the efforts made to provide service excellence. The Annual Client Satisfaction Survey showed that 92% of all interviewed clients were (very) satisfied with the quality of service.
HEALTHY CAPITAL AND LIQUIDITY POSITION
LeasePlan's Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio*, as calculated under the new stricter CRD IV regime, was further strengthened in 2014, reaching 17.3% (2013: 16.9%). Continued focus on the diversified funding strategy delivered liquidity across a range of different platforms with senior unsecured, secured and retail funding all contributing to a healthy year end liquidity position of EUR 4.5 billion comprised of both cash and committed facilities. Secured transactions in Germany, France and the Netherlands with a new public transaction in November for EUR 537 million (Bumper 6) attracted strong institutional support. In addition, a broad range of both private and public senior unsecured transactions delivered in excess of EUR 1.6 billion of funding during the year. Retail deposits entrusted to LeasePlan Bank in the Netherlands remained broadly stable at EUR 4.3 billion (2013: EUR 4.2 billion). In May 2014 the company repaid the final EUR1bn tranche of Dutch Government Guaranteed bonds. LeasePlan's senior ratings were affirmed by all 3 agencies during 2014: Fitch: A- , S&P: BBB+, Moody’s: Baa2.
LeasePlan witnesses an increased volatility of currencies, oil prices and interest rates in the financial markets and tough business competition in the mature geographies it operates in. Despite these uncertain factors, the company looks ahead into the first half of 2015 with cautious optimism. LeasePlan expects the second hand vehicle market to remain strong, in which trading environment, risk mitigation measures will continue to pay off. The company will continue to reap the benefits of the global scale of its operations, the resilience of its diversified income streams, its focus on customer satisfaction and its investment in innovative solutions and services.
LeasePlan is a global fleet management and driver mobility company of Dutch origin. Our full service offering consists of financing and operational fleet management services to meet the needs of a diverse client base. Established in 1963, we have grown to become the world’s leading fleet and vehicle leasing company with more than 85% of our 6,800 person workforce now operating outside the Netherlands. Our global franchise manages some 1.42 million multi - brand vehicles and provides fleet and vehicle management services in 32 countries. We have a proven track record in enhancing our presence in traditional mature fleet markets, as well as expanding into new markets and growing our business to market leading positions. We are able to capitalise on our global presence and international network by providing innovative products, value for money and superior service to meet the needs of (multi)national clients. We aim to do this by using our expertise to make running a fleet easier for our clients. This is reflected in our universal promise to all our clients: ‘It’s easier to leaseplan’.
Financial and other information in this document may contain certain forward-looking statements (all statements other than those made solely with respect to historical facts) based upon beliefs and data currently available to management. These statements are based on a variety of assumptions that may not be realised and are subject to significant business, economic, legal and competitive risks and uncertainties. Our actual operations, financial conditions, cash flows and operating results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by any such forward-looking statements and we undertake no obligation to update or revise them.