Revenue

Revenue

Food & beverage sales in 2008 came to €3,924.6m, compared with €3,877.6m in the previous year, for an increase of 1.2% (+4.7% at constant exchange rates). Organic growth amounted to 4.3%. Traffic trends were mixed in 2008. Until July, the motorway channel was penalised in nearly all of the Group's countries by soaring fuel costs, which mainly affected leisure traffic. Airports held up well, despite the cost of fuel. In August, the trend reversed quite abruptly. The price of oil began to plunge, and the financial crisis dating to the second half of 2007 began to affect the real economy. Airport traffic was especially hard hit, with significant declines in all the main regions. In the motorway channel, too, the recession soon took its toll, as commercial traffic fell off sharply and leisure travel made only a slight recovery. The year closed under a very dark cloud, an unusual situation for an industry that has enjoyed non-stop growth thanks to the progress of modern societies, for which mobility is a key component (in the United States, for example, traffic over the past four decades has grown at an average of more than 5% per year, despite the recession in the early 1980s and other factors such as 9/11). Nevertheless, in 2008 Autogrill continued to outperform traffic data in its main channels and countries of operation, enjoying an increase in sales even as traffic grew scarce. For example, Group sales in 2008 at North American airports rose by 2.8% on a like-for-like basis, despite a 4.7% decline in passenger traffic (source: A.T.A.1), and revenue on Italian motorways advanced by 1.1% after adjusting for the number of locations, versus a 0.8% drop in traffic (source: Atlantia3). Along with the steady improvement in offerings and consistently high standards of service, food & beverage enjoyed the contribution of other channels (railway stations), where some major infrastructure projects were completed (the opening of new highspeed routes in Spain and the reorganisation of junctions in France).

Revenue in the fourth quarter came to €1,071.0m, an increase of 3.5% (+0.7% at constant exchange rates) with respect to the previous year's figure of €1,035.1m. Although the fourth quarter was undoubtedly the year's worst in terms of market conditions, Autogrill continued to outperform: in North America, for example, where passenger traffic was down by 8.9% (source: A.T.A.), the reduction in airport revenue on a like-for-like basis was limited to 2.1%.

1 Air Transport Association