During the first two months of 2012, adverse weather conditions had a strong impact on mobility for lengthy periods.

This magnified the disparity of performance between  the motorway and the airport channel. Sales at motorway locations in the first eight weeks of 2012 were 9.3% lower, at constant exchange rates, than during the same period in 2011. The positive trend at airports, where sales increased 4.1% at constant exchange rates, made up for that result almost entirely; at Week 8 the Group’s overall sales were only slightly down compared with the first two months of last year (–0.6% at constant exchange rates and +1% at current exchange rates).

The trend in sales by channel produced a 3.8% decrease in Food & Beverage sales in the first eight weeks of the year, and an 8.1% increase for Travel Retail & Duty-Free.

On that basis, the first half of the year is likely to be difficult for the Food & Beverage segment. Signs of a reversal of trend in food raw material prices in the United States, however, encourage greater confidence in an upturn in profitability during the second six months.

As in 2011, growth opportunities this year will be concentrated in the Travel Retail & Duty-Free segment, which will likely continue to enjoy the favorable mix of passenger destinations and categories of product sold that have recently sustained the increase in spending per passenger.

For these reasons, we expect to confirm the Group’s 2011 performance, with growth by Travel Retail & Duty-Free that should offset the weakness of the Food & Beverage segment in Europe.

Risks and  opportunities that  may influence Group performance in 2012

Ongoing turmoil at the macroeconomic level is still the greatest risk for the year in course; any worsening of the economic and financial situation of eurozone countries could have an adverse impact on both segments. If growth in the United States is slower than expected, this would affect the performance of Food & Beverage.

Of the specific threats to the Group’s industries, the trend in the price of crude oil could have repercussions on prices at the pump and on airline policies such as ticket prices or the number of flights operated. These reactions could have consequences for traffic flows, especially tourism, and for the passenger mix in terms of destinations.

On the opportunities side, efforts at concerted financial and growth policies designed to ease a turnaround and boost consumer confidence in the eurozone could foster an upturn in consumption and thus a more favorable climate for the Group’s operations in Europe.

Some specific opportunities for Autogrill include a more significant and generalized decrease in food raw material prices; the further growth of tourist traffic in Spain, thanks in part to ongoing political and social unrest in alternative travel areas; and the continued strong growth of Latin America.

Events  after the  reporting period

Since 31 December 2011, no events have occurred that if known  in advance would have entailed an adjustment to the figures reported or required additional disclosures.