Autonom Services SA, the largest mobility network in Romania, posts consolidated revenues of 394.3 million lei, a 16% increase compared to 2019, a benchmark year for Autonom before the pandemic, and a net profit of 22.5 million lei, up 28% compared to 2019.
Last year, Autonom recorded the highest values in the company’s activity in terms of all relevant performance indicators.
“A few years ago, when we discovered the concept of ‘V.U.C.A. World’ – an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, we thought it was appropriate, but we looked at it with some detachment. The last two years have shown us all what a business in the VUCA world means: pandemic, successive sectoral crises, sudden changes in consumer behaviour, upside-down supply chains, rampant inflation, an armed conflict in Europe, but also accelerated digitalization, increased productivity, new opportunities, resilience, and surprising adaptability. It is ideal for agile companies, which easily break away from yesterday’s successful formulas and successfully navigate the sparkling waters that make true sailors. Autonom has once again shown that it has the structure, culture, and vision adapted to accelerated change, and our teams have come out of such situations stronger, even if new scars have appeared,” stated Dan Ștefan, co-founder of Autonom.
Regarding the financial results of 2021 at the level of key divisions, the operating lease division, Autonom Lease, generated revenues of 185.6 million lei, a 17% increase compared to 2019, in a challenging context, due to the effects of the semiconductor crisis. Inflation has also become present in several cost categories that make up the monthly full-service operating lease rate, such as insurance, maintenance, tires, car replacement, and administration costs. In this context, Autonom’s operating lease product has become more attractive. Clients have come to understand that a long-term fixed-cost contract is a form of protection against inflation and that outsourcing done correctly has multiple advantages, and their business can be more agile as long as it focuses on core business.
Autonom’s rent-a-car division recorded revenues of 68.7 million lei, up 4% compared to 2019, due to the continuous increase in demand, simultaneously with the increase in tariffs generated by the shortage of cars in the market. In 2021, Autonom reached a fleet occupancy rate of over 88%. The AutoRulate division recorded revenues of 78.7 million lei, a record value, up 71% compared to 2019. The results of this division are significant considering the context in which the company was forced to partially postpone the sale of cars due to production delays caused by the semiconductor crisis and high demand and fleet occupancy.
“We still live in unstable and unexpected times in modern society – the pandemic is still present in our lives, and the war in Ukraine has shown us that geopolitical disputes are not just in the history books. The last two years have shown once again that the next crisis always comes from the least expected place. Since the company’s beginning, we have faced various crises that have led us to lead and develop the Autonom business in a volatile environment characterized by uncertainty and frequent direction changes from either the political, economic, or social sphere. As was the case at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an excellent financial situation after raising a new round of financing through the capital market at the end of 2021. This means that we are very well capitalized to take advantage of the opportunities that may appear in the next period on the market,” added Marius Ștefan, co-founder of Autonom.
At the end of 2021, Autonom raised 48 million euros through the capital market. Raising these new funds is part of the first stage of the corporate bond issuance program, a premiere for the Romanian capital market, which the company wants to run in the next five years. It intends to raise up to 250 million euros. An essential part of the raised capital will be used for investments in the transition to green fleets, a key element for the company’s sustainable development. The bond issue is part of the sustainability strategy developed by Autonom for the coming years and where the environmental component is the most important direction for the company’s actions and decisions.
In this context, at the same time as the publication of the company’s annual report, Autonom also publishes its first sustainability report, which presents the results for 2021 from the perspective of environmental, social, and governance aspects. In 2021, the company managed to get significantly closer to the proposed targets and start important projects to reduce its carbon footprint, such as purchasing hybrid and electric cars and evaluating all locations for the installation of charging stations. The full results are available here. Also, this month, Autonom joined the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. The company is committed to supporting the Ten Principles of this initiative on human rights, the environment, good governance, and the fight against corruption and helping achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In 2022, Autonom continues to strengthen its position in the operating lease market by acquiring Țiriac Operating Lease. The transaction was completed in mid-April, and the process of integrating the new team, work processes, and new client portfolio into the Autonom structure has begun. Tiriac Operating Lease is a business with annual revenues of approximately 80 million lei and assets worth over 240 million lei. At the time of the takeover, Țiriac Operating Lease had a fleet of over 2,600 cars and a portfolio of over 900 clients. Țiriac Operating Lease integration will be a project of strategic importance for Autonom in 2022. The company expects a similar development as in the case of the integration of BT Operational Leasing in 2018.