This year, the first since the demerger from World Duty Free, reflects the Group’s results exclusively in the travel food & beverage business, in which the Company is the world leader.
Autogrill’s strategic refocussing on food & beverage is happening at a time when the economic situation is looking more positive than in recent years. The world economy is showing the first signs of recovery, which I trust our Group will be able to exploit increasingly effectively, thanks to the strategy of international expansion underpinning our business development.
Economic recovery has been faster in North America, where the Group further consolidated its leadership, and in emerging markets, especially Asia and the Middle East, where Autogrill entered major new contracts. These are key markets for the future that we will continue to cultivate, ever ready to take up new growth opportunities as soon as they occur.
In Europe, Autogrill prioritised a strategy of selective investments mainly in the airport channel. In Italy, despite the scaling down of commercial operations on motorways, the Company decided to contribute to the growth and prestige of Milan, which is hosting the Expo 2015, by building a multi-store in the heart of the city – Il Mercato del Duomo – where the Group is concentrating much of the know-how and innovation it is developing on the domestic and international markets.
Thanks to this progress, which has strengthened Autogrill’s leadership in the sector, and the quality and duration of its concessions portfolio, we look to the future with the conviction that there are still important opportunities to take up, also through industrial aggregation capable of further increasing the value of the Company for all the Shareholders.