De Lage Landen posted a 14 per cent increase in net profit in
2007 and projected it would sustain its double-digit net-profit
growth record of the past five years in 2008.

Net profit for the financial year ended December 31, 2007
increased to €234m as its lease portfolio increased by €1.8bn, or
9.6 per cent, to €20.7bn from 2006.

The Dutch asset-based lender attributed the improved performance
mostly to its private-label leasing division and subsidiary, Athlon
Car Lease.

Private-label leasing is offered to banking institutions, most
significantly to DLL’s parent, Rabobank. Identified as Financial
Institutions, DLL said this division achieved a record €1bn in new
business in the Dutch market last year.

The operations of Athlon, which DLL acquired in 2006, will be
fully merged with Translease by end 2008.Athlon significantly
outperformed the market last year, DLL said.

“In 2008, De Lage Landen expects a continuation of the trend of
five years of consecutive double-digit net-profit growth,” the
company said in its 2007 results statement. “Geographical expansion
remains high on the agenda. De Lage Landen will be on the look out
for further expansion in Central and Eastern Europe and will
investigate possibilities to expand its network to India and South

Although its cost of funding had increased, DLL said it has not
felt much of the impact of the credit crunch on its business.

DLL’s Dutch factoring business, which emerged as a core activity
for the company after a restructuring, reported newbusiness volume
of €101m in 2007.

In the final quarter of last year, DLL expanded its vendor
finance business with the acquisition of IT Finans AS of Norway and
two subsidiaries of Siemens Financial Services in Hungary.The
Siemens acquisitions and Athlon’s recent entry into the Polish
market has set the tone for further expansion into Central and
Eastern Europe, DLL said.