The market

The Group's core market, which reflects the performance of the general economy in the short to medium term, is in the long term more closely linked to mass changes in international mobility, the development of transport systems and infrastructure, GDP growth in the countries where it operates, and patterns in spending capacity and habits.

In this context, alongside the more developed countries – where traffic growth is linked to rising household income and the spread of new and cheaper means of transport (e.g. lowcost airlines) – a growing role is played by newly industrialized countries with their inherent transnational spirit and a young population influenced by Western lifestyles.

Flexibility, or the capacity to operate in all travel channels while adapting to different geographical and cultural settings, is therefore a key competitive edge.

Motorway and airport traffic in 2009

The recessive economy and weakened international trade created a very poor framework in 2009 for all businesses relating to the transport of people and goods. The air transport industry was particularly hard hit, suffering one of its worst years in history and failing to profit from the drop in the price of oil. Declines amounted to 6.9% 1 in North America, 3.3% 2 in Italy, 6% 3 in the United Kingdom and 8.1% 4 in Spain.

The relatively low oil prices allowed motorway traffic to hold better ground, although it too was weakened by the recession: –1.1% 5 on Italian motorways and +0.1% 6 on the U.S. highways served, with worse results for commercial freight trucks.
During the last two quarters, there were signs of an upturn in all of the Group’s major channels; the decline in passenger traffic seems to have stopped, although conditions remain highly volatile.

1 Source: A.T.A., January-December 2009 figures
2 Source: Group estimates based on Assaeroporti figures, January-December 2009
3 Source: BAA, Manchester and Gatwick airports, January-December 2009
4 Source: AENA, January-December 2009
5 Source: AISCAT, January-November 2009
6 Source: Group estimates based on Federal Highway Administration figures, January-December 2009

2008-2009 traffic trend by channels and country

Andamento_del_traffico_per_canale_e_Paese_2008-2009_

 

Andamento_del_traffico_per_canale_e_Paese_2008-2009_2

Traffic forecasts for 2010

The early months of 2010 confirm the improvement noted towards the end of 2009. In February, for example, global airport traffic increased by nearly 6.8% year-on-year 7.

For 2010 Autogrill expects traffic in its business channels (US airports, UK airports, Spanish airports and Italian motorways) to grow within the ranges shown below:

 
Best
scenario
Worst
scenario
US airport traffic2.50%2.00%
Italian motorway traffic1.00%0.00%
UK airport traffic1.00%0.00%
Spanish airport traffic0.00%-1.0%

7 Source: A.C.I., figure at February 2010

Long-term global mobility

Although the unusually deep and widespread crisis has posed a challenge to long-term mobility forecasts, until new analyses are available we can expect growth in the overall demand for travel to average 1.6% to 3% 1 per year. This growing demand will directly correlate with a need for new infrastructure, which in the medium term (2010-2020) will exceed government investment capacity and open doors to the private sector.

Transportation of passengers by geographical area

Trasporto_di_persone_per_area_geografica

For air traffic in particular, medium- to long-range forecasts suggest that by 2027, if annual growth stays around 3%, the number of passengers 2 could rise to 11 billion.

Today, all airports taken together have a capacity of no more than 6 billion, and about 93 airports (accounting for two thirds of global traffic) are already saturated. In Europe alone, more than 60 airports will be unable to satisfy the demand for flights and it will be necessary to build at least 10 large new airports and 15 midsize ones. Growth will be swiftest of all in Asia 3.

For surface transport as well, new roads will cost an estimated $ 220-290 billion per year between 2010 and 2030, with a 1-2% 3 increase in traffic in Europe and North America.

1 Source: Mobility 2030
2 Source: A.C.I. Global Traffic Forecast 2008-2027
3 Source: OECD 2008