ALD grows global fleet 9.8%
ALD Automotive’s global fleet of managed vehicles was up 9.8% to 1.63m at the end of September, said to be the result of sustained investments in technology.
In its trading update for Q3 2018 and the first nine months of the year, the leasing giant said leasing contract & services margins reached €919.7m, up 6.7% for the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. This offset the falling trend in the car sales result, which reached €85.4m for the first nine months of 2018, down from €132.7m in the same period in 2017.
Gross operating income reached €1.01bn for the first nine months of 2018, up 1.0% compared the same period in 2017. Operating expenses rose 4.7% compared to the first nine months of 2017, pushing the cost/income ratio (excluding car sales result) down to 49.7% in Q3 18 and 50.2% for the first nine months of the year. Net income (group share) stood at €415.4m in 9M 18, and at €135.4m in Q3 18.
ALD also highlighted a number of initiatives over Q3, including the launch of a private leasing scheme with French online bank Boursorama, and its signing of a partnership with connected car platform provider Vinli. It also issued the first-ever positive impact bond to finance electric and hybrid vehicles.
In addition, Fitch ratings assigned ALD a long-term issuer default rating of A- with a stable outlook while S&P Global Ratings upgrade ALD’s long-term issuer credit rating to BBB+ (stable outlook) from BBB.
Commenting on the figures, ALD CEO Mike Masterson said: “In Q3 18, ALD continued to generate strong fleet growth across the regions in which we operate. We are convinced that our sustained investments in technology make the difference when we pitch for business with large corporates in the face of strong competition. Similarly, our business development with smaller companies and professionals via our extensive partnership network is underpinned by state-of-the-art digital tools, which also drive strong growth in the private lease segment. In parallel, through rigorous cost control and a continuous focus on efficiency gains, we ensure our business model retains its operating leverage, protecting the bottom line. Our achievements during the first nine months make us confident of ending the year in a position to be able to reward our shareholders with a dividend payment above last year’s.”