Declining Belgian new car registrations
Belgian new car registrations fell by 11.25% in July and increased by 0.51% year-to-date. Febiac points out that the decline is due to a negative calendar effect with less trading days (2) versus July 2010. market share reached 21.4% during the first 7 months of 2011 versus 19.7% during the same period last year. New car registrations in July: +5.2%, -6.7%, Seat -4.5%, Skoda +15.8% and -23.8%. Year to date: +11.2%, -1.8%, Seat -2.1%, Skoda +32.4% (!) and +16.2%. All the brands: +1.4% in July or +9.2% year to date.
D’Ieteren’s management expects that new car registrations will exceed 530,000 this year. This compares with 547,347 last year. We are not changing our forecasts and count on 3.0% sales growth for D’Ieteren Auto in FY11. As demand for new cars is slowing down we remain cautious for the remainder of the year. In Wallonia CO2 emission requirements to obtain subsidies have become more stringent since 1 July 2011. Our forecast might prove to be too conservative however as Skoda and continue to perform well. Skoda offers good value at an attractive price. This explains why this brand scores well when consumer confidence is weak. D’Ieteren 1H11 results will be released on 25 August. For the full year management counts on current pretax profits (group share) of at least 5.0% excluding Avis Europe. We bank on 6.3% growth.
General meeting at Avis Europe
Yesterday, the shareholders of Avis Europe plc approved the proposed acquisition by Avis Budget Group Inc. The resolution was passed by a majority of 99.97% of the shares present or represented. The Scheme of Arrangement is expected to become effective on 3 October 2011.