Autogrill posted excellent financial results for 2015. While North America produced impressive figures that were key to the Group’s overall performance, we should also remember the return to profitability in Europe and double-digit growth in the International area, where we won several new contracts and opened over a hundred new points of sale. Solid growth in sales and margins enabled the Group to double its profits and cash flow generation.
Over the year the Group continued to strengthen its medium-term competitive position both by increasing its contracts portfolio and by making significant investments, of which over 50% in North America. Almost 80% of total investments went into development.
We continue to take opportunities that will benefit us in the short and medium term by leveraging our know-how: our ability to partner with the world’s biggest food & beverage brands at the same time as developing strong and innovative in-house brands, that are increasingly valued and competitive in Italy and abroad.
Take Bistrot, for instance, which caters for travellers in channels and countries with different culinary traditions, from Dutch railway stations to North American and European airports and onto Italian motorways. And other award winning formats that we’ve created, such as Gorgeous Kitchen at Heathrow and Whiskey River at Charlotte Airport, to mention just a couple.
Geographical and channel diversification, the capacity to constantly innovate our offering and the passion and commitment of all our people are, in my opinion, the most effective means to successfully negotiate an environment that is still characterized by uncertainty and continue to grow in the future.
Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos