European fleet giant and the twelfth-largest leasing company in Europe, LeasePlan recorded a 13% jump in profit in 2011 to €225m.
The Netherlands-based firm increased profit from the €199m recorded in 2010, according to its preliminary annual report.
The number of vehicles on LeasePlan’s books increased 2.7% to 1.3m owing chiefly to an acquisition in Portugal as well as growth across the global lessor’s largest markets, according to chairman and chief executive Vahid Daemi.
“LeasePlan once again delivered impressive results in an economic environment that continues to present many challenges,” said Daemi.
In a company statement, Daemi attributed the profit increase, which grew despite a drop in return on equity from 11.2% to 10.9%, to substantial improvements in traditional interest margins as well as stable performance in other diversified income streams.
“Our ability to deliver consistently strong profitability from a range of sources reflects the scale advantages of our business model,” he said.
LeasePlan Bank, the group’s online bank in the Netherlands reached nearly €2.8bn in deposits which, along with the securitisation of lease assets through private and public placements which yielded a further €1.3bn, has generated a diverse funding pool.
The company also announced it ended 2011 with a liquidity buffer of over €3bn of committed facilities and over €1.5bn in cash.
Last year did see a year-on-year increase in contract terminations for LeasePlan which the company put down to limited economic recovery and ongoing market uncertainties.
Terminated vehicles, said Daemi, were sold with a loss, with a marked deterioration in the second half of the year.
With continuing market uncertainty, Daemi is cautious about LeasePlan’s performance this year: “Although we look ahead with cautious optimism about the level of performance we can achieve during 2012, we recognise that future performance and growth opportunities will be in the context of ongoing uncertainties of global economic conditions and volatility of financial markets.”