Autogrill's market

The traveller services market depends on traffic trends, which in turn are influenced by GDP. This means that the Group's core market, though linked to the performance of the economy in the short to medium term, is in the long term more closely aligned to lifestyle changes and the development of transport systems and infrastructure.

The more developed countries, where traffic growth reflects rising household income and the spread of new and cheaper means of transport (e.g. mass car ownership and low-cost airlines), have recently been joined by newly industrialised countries with their inherent transnational spirit and a young population influenced by Western lifestyles.

With the costant ebb and flow of demand, the flexibility to operate across the travel industry helps the Group adapt to different geographical locations and cultures and to adjust its products and services to the evolving needs and aspirations of its consumers and partners. 


In 2008 world traffic exceeded 4.4 billion passengers, broadly in line with the previous year (-0.2%), bringing the average annual increase to more than 4.5% since 19971. This is a fastgrowing industry, despite the slowdown in 2001-2002 following 9/11 and in 2007-2008 due to the global financial crisis.

Passengers total growth - Figures by geographical region 1997-20081 (billion passengers)



The sector is highly concentrated, with the three main geographical regions accounting for over 88% of world airport traffic: North America (33%), with an average annual growth rate since 1997 of 1.3%; Europe (which accounts for more than 32% of world traffic), with average annual growth of 5.4% from 1997 to 2008 and Asia (with a share of over 23%), which shows the fastest growth of all with a rate topping 8%. Forecasts now available through 20272 predict an average annual growth rate of 3% to 5% until 2009-2010, when the number of passengers per year is forecast to exceed 5 billion. After a slowdown in 2009 due to the international financial crisis, the pace should pick up again in 2010. In the following 17 years average annual traffic growth is expected to settle at around 4%, as the markets of many countries mature, reaching 11 billion passengers a year by 2027.

Projection of world passenger traffic (billion passengers)

Traffico passeggeri

1 Source: A.C.I. Global Traffic Forecast 2006-2025 (Executive Summary Edition 2007) and A.C.I. Worldwide Airport Traffic Statistics, 2008
2 Source: A.C.I. Global Traffic Forecast 2008-2027 (2008 Edition)


Particularly in Europe, the car remains the most used means of transport, given the region's small size compared with other continents and its extensive road network along with the absence or inadequacy of alternative transport channels.
Over the last decade the highest rates of growth have been seen in Spain and Belgium (over 4% and 5% respectively), against an average of 1% to 3% for France, Germany and Italy. In the US and Japan, where the motorway networks are comparable to Europe's in terms of infrastructure but not extension or use, traffic grew, but not as fast as in Europe.
In 2008, motorway traffic was hit in the first six months by soaring fuel costs, which mainly affected the leisure component and in the second half by the financial crisis and its impact on commercial traffic. In North America, traffic shrank by 4% in the areas served by the Group1; in Italy the decline was 0.7%2.
In the coming years, we are likely to see investment in upgrading the main arteries of the larger western countries (e.g., in Europe, the north-south and east-west corridors and the construction of road networks in the main central and eastern regions) and accelerated expenditure for basic infrastructure in emerging countries.
Forecasts for the next three to four years are for traffic growth of between 1% and 2%3 in Europe and North America.

1 Figures source: F.H.W.A., Federal Highway Administration, figures updated to December 2008
2 Figures source: A.I.S.C.A.T., November 2008
3 Figures source: Autogrill restatement based on A.I.S.C.A.T. and Bureau of Transportation Statistics figures

Railway stations1

Europe is the region where railway stations are, and will increasingly tend to be, a valid alternative to other channels thanks to shorter distances and the development of the highspeed network.

Europe's railways account for some 8% of the demand for transport, and in the last decade passenger traffic has increased by around 1% on average. The UK has seen the fastest growth (over 3%), chiefly due to London-bound commuters, and is followed by France, Germany and Spain with average increases of between 1.5% and 2.5%.

1 Figures source: A.T.O.C., Association of Train Operating Companies and European Union - Energy & Transport