Autonom Services SA, the most extensive mobility network in Romania, registered in 2019 consolidated revenues of approximately 339 million lei, an increase of 35% compared to 2018, EBITDA of 132 million lei (+57%) and net profit of 17,5 million lei (+7%). Also last year, the company has attracted 20 million euro from Bucharest Stock Exchange investors by issuing corporate bonds.
The consolidated results of Autonom Services include the performance of two major business lines – of operation leasing and short-term rental (rent-a-car), as well as other additional services provided by Autonom. While the mobility services market is still in development in Romania and CEE region and it has not yet reached full maturity, significant increases in results of all the business lines of Autonom prove its potential.
“2019 was the best year in the history of Autonom, like every year so far. We have increased our market share without sacrificing long-term profitability. We have added both customers and new services, developed organically or through partnerships. 2020 will show us whether our business model based on sustainability, adaptability and flexibility will be agile enough to overcome all the challenges posed by the current health crisis” said Dan Stefan, co-shareholder of the Autonom International, group of which Autonom Services is a part of.
Operational leasing line, which in 2019 served 1,461 clients and operated a fleet of 7,118 cars registered revenues of 159 million lei, thus registering a staggering growth of 48% compared to result generated in 2018. The business line, which helps companies optimize operational costs by externalizing car fleets, has profited from an increased interest of both large companies with big care fleets, as well as small entrepreneurial companies that operate only a few vehicles.
In 2019, the company successfully completed the group integration of BT Operational Leasing and went through a rebranding process. Thus, Autonom ended 2019 with a renewed image, an easier to understand business structure, a stronger team and a solid relationship with its customers and partners.
Rent-a-car line, which offers a diverse range of short-term and medium-term car rental services between one day and 12 months, has grown by 14% compared to the previous year, reaching revenues of approximately 66 million lei in 2019. At the end of 2019, Autonom Rent-a-Car has operated a fleet of 2,034 vehicles and served clients in 44 agencies from 31 cities in Romania. Legal entities generated over 85% of the rent-a-car turnover while the average occupancy rate of the fleet has reached 80%.
As an additional revenue line, Autonom sells each year through Autonom AutoRulate cars which have reached the end of the amortization period. In 2019, Autonom sold 2,215 of vehicles from its fleet, for a total amount of 93,5 million lei. 33% of the cars were sold to natural persons.
Company representatives underline that the services contracted for long-term and the operational leasing contribute the most to the revenues generated at the group level. This is especially important in the current context of COVID-19, in which the car rental market has been affected by the reduction of tourist and business travel. This travel restriction will continue to have an impact on short-term rental lines and driver transfers, as long as the risk of the pandemic spreading is still present. Nonetheless, Autonom keeps adapting its services to meet the changing demands of its customers.
“Fortunately, this is not the first crisis for Autonom. We went very well through the financial crisis of 2008-2011, at the beginning of which we quickly changed our business model and during which we prospered, reaching compound annual growth rate of over 50%. Each severe crisis amplifies “creative destruction” and brings many opportunities for resilient companies. Therefore, we are optimistic about the future of Autonom – we consider that we are in a very good position to continue the accelerated development, even in 2020” said Marius Ștefan, co-shareholder and founder of the Autonom International group.
Moreover, company officials say they will continue to invest up to 80% of the proposed budget, even in the context of a major economic crisis, to strengthen the business and thus ensure its stability.