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05.05.2011

UniCredit Leasing again number 1 in Austria's leasing market

  • With an increase of 43 per cent in the new business volume to EUR763m and a market share of 13.3 per cent, UniCredit is the clear market leader in Austria in 2010 again
  • UniCredit Leasing registers growth of 20 per cent in the field of movable property leasing, almost 5 times more than the entire leasing sector
  • With a market share of  27.5 per cent, UniCredit Leasing is clear market leader in the field of  real estate leasing
  • Automotive market remains stable in 2010 – in 2011, UniCredit Leasing will improve its market position in the automotive sector and, in addition to an expansion of the vendor business in the passenger car segment, will also focus on trucks and light trucks
  • 2011 is set for further growth at UniCredit Leasing – international leasing will be an important pillar for the growth strategy
  • Significant focus on alternative energy projects: financing of wind power plants in the provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria with a total volume of more than EUR60m

Since UniCredit Leasing Austria CEO Dr. Martin Frank assumed office in April 2010, UniCredit Leasing Austria has been able to regain its market leadership in Austria and further expand business. The new business volume rose by 42.6 per cent to EUR763m. In total, UniCredit grew significantly more than the market in almost all segments. In the field of mobile property leasing, UniCredit Leasing registered growth of 20 per cent, almost five times more than the industry which reported growth of 4.16 per cent in this segment. UniCredit Leasing was also leading with a market share of 27.5 per cent in the field of real estate leasing. The automotive leasing segment showed a stable development compared with the previous year (-0.8 per cent).

"During the economic crisis, we were a reliable partner for our customers and constantly expanded our range of services. We can rely on the good cooperation with Bank Austria and more than 47 years of experience in Austria which allow for tailor-made products and individual advisory services", Martin Frank says, explaining the recipe for success of UniCredit Leasing. "Moreover, UniCredit Leasing as a group has the strongest network in Europe with offices in 17 countries. Global centres of competence for renewable energy as well as real estate and aircraft financing are in Vienna. This is a huge advantage for Austrian investors", says Martin Frank.

Even before the economic crisis, leasing was a very good alternative to common loan financing. The focus is on the value of leasing property and the use (asset based approach), credit lines are not charged, and the equity ratio is more favourable since the balance sheet total is not inflated. In addition, leasing provides for the possibility to keep the technology of machines and vehicles always state-of-the-art, thus being able to react more flexibly to market and environment requirements. Given the increasingly important aspects of cost and energy efficiency as well as sustainability, this leads to clear competitive advantages.

Growth will be expanded further in 2011
UniCredit Leasing intends not only to maintain the high level but also to expand it further. For 2011, UniCredit Leasing expects further grow in a high one-digit amount – mainly in the fields of movable property, public sector and structured leasing. A need to catch up particularly exists in the field of investment in machines and business equipment, a field in which companies have still been reluctant in the past few years. Here, the significance of replacement investments will partially also rise for environmental reasons.

Moreover, UniCredit Leasing expects the trends regarding issues such as "energy" and "sustainability" to strengthen further. As the economic situation is improving again, follow-up effects in new investment are also expected for all branches of industry. Investment in the transport sector is expected to increase considerably in 2011 as well. UniCredit Leasing expects certain follow-up effects in investment in company fleets in 2011, too. According to the Association of Austrian Leasing Companies (VÖL), the fleet market is again on the level it had before the crisis (increase in 2010 over 2009: +3.9 per cent to EUR463m and thus over the comparable sum in 2007). Given the impassability of economic conditions as a result of the financial crisis, the recovery cycles were extended. The current economic prospects now refer to a positive image.

In the automotive segment, UniCredit Leasing will strengthen and further develop cooperations and partnerships. Fleet management products like "Fleet Light" for fleets of smaller companies and used car financing are ideal for this. The transport industry also shows huge need for investment again which is met with tailor-made solutions.

International leasing is an important pillar of the growth strategy
"With international leasing, we support our customers with financing solutions abroad or regarding exports. This will be an important pillar of UniCredit Leasing's growth strategy in 2011", Martin Frank points out. International leasing units were established in the 17 countries to allow for successful realisation of foreign projects in all countries. In addition, the group benefits from its excellent networks in its domestic markets in Austria, Germany and Italy as well as from cooperations with local banks. Central support concerns all products – real estate, renewable energy projects, aviation as well as movable property, vehicles and fleet management.

Two Italian photovoltaic projects of Austrian investors were completed in the first quarter of 2011. Further plans for photovoltaic projects focus on Bulgaria. In Hungary and Serbia, the focus is on biogas projects while the focus in Romania is on wind and water power plants.

UniCredit Leasing's many years of real estate competence in CEE countries is supported by a competence centre in Vienna. In 2011, the advantage of networks in the domestic markets in Italy, Germany and Austria is to be increasingly elaborated for customers of this core market either directly or in cooperation with the banking group. At the moment, international leasing projects of Austrian customers with a total sum of investment of about EUR300m are in active process.

Alternative emery projects as top priority:
Financing of wind power plants in the provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria with a total volume of more than EUR60m
"We have been focusing on projects in the field of renewable energies for years already. Moreover, we expect alternative energies to be promoted further and even more intensely, particularly considering the incidents in Japan and Arab countries. We consider investment in this field attractive and thus finance innovative projects", Martin Frank explains. The latest financed projects were two wind power plants in the provinces of Lower Austria and Burgenland with a total investment volume of more than EUR60m.

The entire UniCredit Leasing Group strongly focuses on renewable energies. In 2010, a total of 470 photovoltaic projects with an investment volume of around EUR830m were realized. EUR750m were realized in Italy, EUR50m in the Czech Republic and EUR30m in Germany.

For further inquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
  Martin Kammerer, Phone +43 (0) 50505 - 52803
   E-Mail: martin.kammerer@unicreditgroup.at

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