Looking ahead

The economy is expected to grow next year at a slightly higher rate than previously forecast by the ECB, yet we do not foresee an immense improvement. The ECB predicts an average growth of GDP in 2015 in the European Union of 1.6 per cent. Inflation is expected to remain at around the 1 per cent level. We subscribe to the conservative forecast and Q-Park's economic expectations are therefore also neutral.

Considering current developments in the financial markets, we are now considering the best action regarding our existing loan agreement which expires in 2016. Our intention is, in due time, to attract financing at Q-Park Group level of approximately EUR 900 million. We will strive for an agreement that offers us the greatest possible flexibility. Furthermore, the option to call upon the capital market in the coming years, should that be necessary, must remain open.

2015 will be a transitional year for our organisation. We have introduced other financial control instruments which must be embedded in our budgets and in our planning and control cycle. Moreover, the organisation has to settle into the new division into regions. The regional structure is a prerequisite for further implementing our infrastructure for exchanging knowledge within the organisation. Just as in recent years, we do not expect any major fluctuations in staffing levels while we continue to work on improving operational efficiency.

Nevertheless, 2015 will certainly be a significant year. In each region we will be able to respond more directly to the specific needs of governments, customers and partners. In the regions, the focus lies on value creation for the customer. From our leading position, we can make use of difficult market conditions and turn these to our advantage. Our intention is to take pole position as soon as the economy begins to rebound.

The revised strategy is our compass. Thanks to our internal reflection, we have a much better idea of where and why we want to grow. This is where our focus lies, which we will be shaping up through our portfolio management in 2015. This means that we will be making explicit choices as to the number of new parking spaces we want and in which cities. Our basic premise is that we want to offer our customers the best options to get to their chosen destination. We will further develop our digital presence and will expand our online services rapidly.

2015 will be the year in which we make the shift from a capital-intensive business to a stable shareholder-value company. This change will be of considerable value to all our stakeholders.