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Leaseurope figures identify growth in 2011 EU lease market

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The survey demonstrates that new leasing business in Europe increased by 7%1 in 2011 to reach €248bn. This continued improvement on 2010 further demonstrates that the European leasing industry has maintained its overall path to recovery.

Most of European markets witnessed steady growth in 2011; however the survey continues to show divergences across regions and asset types. Equipment and vehicle leasing were the driving force for the

European leasing market’s positive performance, accounting for €224bn of new volumes and an 11% growth rate. In particular, the automotive segments and especially commercial vehicle leasing, made an important contribution to the overall increase in equipment in 2011, with 17% growth in commercial vehicle leasing volumes.

The upturn of new equipment leasing volumes was especially pronounced in the Baltic countries, Ukraine and Russia. Equally, Germany, France, the UK and the Nordic and CEE markets generally performed well in equipment and vehicle leasing. However, Southern European markets, including Italy and other countries from the Mediterranean region experienced a considerable downturn. Real estate leasing saw a significant dip in new volumes contracting by nearly 19%.

Leaseurope’s Chairman, Jukka Salonen, Inset, (CEO, Nordea Finance), commented: ‘While the macro-economic environment remained difficult in 2011, our industry has emerged with strong overall results for the year. Challenges lay ahead in 2012 and it is crucial that we maintain this path by operating with stronger fundamentals combined with improved speed, service and flexibility so that our industry remains an attractive value proposition for its stakeholders.”

Piero Biagi (Managing Director, BCC Lease, Italy), chair of Leaseurope’s Statistics & Marketing Committee, said that: ‘The stalling of European economic recovery in the second half of 2011 accentuated differences between individual leasing markets and, in particular, the South of Europe compared to other countries. While there was a slightly better performance in the automotive sector, this region suffered declines across all other types of assets.

‘Despite this more difficult second part of the year, our industry has continued to outpace total equipment investment growth in Europe. Growth of equipment leasing bodes well for European business investment, which is necessary to maintain the economic momentum. With the near-term outlook for equipment investment in the EU and in the Eurozone remaining weak, the leasing industry will have a particularly important role to play over the coming months and years,’ he added.

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