Despite solid growth last year and rising market demand for the
leasing of vehicles, UniCredit’s Czech asset finance arm predicts a
slowdown in new business during 2008.

New volume are expected to grow by 10 per cent, according to
Jiri Matula, general manager of UniCredit Leasing (Czech Republic),
against increases of just under double that last year.

The company is gaining ground with a 11.5 per cent share of the
transport market totalling CZK 13.8bn  (€0.5bn) worth of
receivables, and last year moved from fifth to fourth position in
real estate leasing after growing by a whopping 71.4 per cent. Its
real estate portfolio currently totals CZK 1.3bn (€50m).

However, tax changes are likely to slow down new business
growth, although Matula said the 10 per cent rise this year –
against 19 per cent in 2007 – was a “conservative prediction”. New
business in 2007 totalled CZK 17.2bn (€670m).

Nonetheless gross profits will grow at a much faster rate than
last year when they increased by just 3.9 per cent to reach CZK
431m (€16.9m), he added.

Executive manager Jaroslav Jaro said the company, formerly known
as CAC Leasing (Czech Republic), last year financed the purchase of
every ninth car in the Czech Republic.

A special report on leasing in the Czech Republic will
appear in the April issue of Leasing Life.