Revenue generated in Italy in 2013 came to E 1,154.1m, a decrease of 6.0% on the previous year’s E 1,227.8m. For the second year in a row, sales in Italy were sharply curbed by the difficult economy, which caused motorway traffic to decrease along with consumer confidence and travelers’ purchasing power. The decline also reflects the closure of several unprofitable outlets on high streets, at shopping centres and at trade fairs.

Sales by channel are detailed below: 

 (€m)  2013  2012  Change 
 Motorways    878.3    929.6    (5.5%) 
 Airports    83.1    88.1    (5.7%) 
 Railway stations    45.4    43.7    3.9% 
 Other *    147.3    166.3    (11.4%) 
 Total    1,154.1    1,227.8    (6.0%) 

The influence of macroeconomic factors is especially evident in the motorway channel, which closed the year with revenue of E 878.3m, down from E 929.6m in 2012 (-5.5%). Compared with a 1.7% decrease in traffic 22, sales on a like-for-like basis were down by 6.0% on the previous year. In part, the underperformance with respect to traffic reflects a shift toward lower spending per customer.

Thanks also to the many promotional initiatives, sales of served foods & beverages (-5.5%) and of groceries (+1.1%) fared better than non-food market products and complementary items, which decreased by 9.1% and 8.3%, respectively.

On a like-for-like basis, sales in the airport channel showed an uptick (+0.4%) despite a 2.1% reduction in traffic 23, while overall revenue decreased by 5.7% for the year, due mainly to the closure of the locations at Catania and Bari airports and of one outlet at Rome Fiumicino.

Sales at railway stations increased by 3.9% with respect to 2012, thanks to the acquisition of contracts at new stations (Florence Santa Maria Novella, Venice Santa Lucia and Verona Porta Nuova) and the opening of new concepts at stations already served, such as Bistrot at Milano Centrale.

The negative sales performance on high streets, at shopping centres and at trade fairs (-11.4% for the year) reflects the closure of several outlets in Verona, Cantù, Brescia, Rome and Milan.

In Italy EBITDA came to € 73.2m, down from € 87.8m the previous year (-16.6%), and fell from 7.1% to 6.3% of revenue. The 2013 figure includes net non-recurring income 24 of € 9.1m (in 2012 there were net non-recurring charges of € 3.5m).

Excluding those elements, EBITDA would have declined by 30%. The decrease on the previous year was caused by the steep reduction in sales, which in addition to hurting margins allowed less absorption of fixed costs (rent and labor), especially in the motorway channel.