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Paris, 1 April 2010
The Annual General Meetings of Sofinco and Finaref on 1 April 2010 approved the merger of the two companies to form the new leader in consumer credit in France and Europe: Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance.
The Board of Directors of the new company held its first meeting the same day, after the AGM, and appointed Jean-Yves Hocher Chairman of the Board of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance.
Philippe Dumont, CEO of Sofinco and Finaref since 31 July 2009, was confirmed as the CEO of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance.
With €75.8 billion under management at end-2009, operations in 21 countries, a number-one position in several markets and 27 million customers, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance is now the leading provider of consumer credit in Europe.
Assets under management break down as follows:
- France, which accounted for 37% of AUM at end-2009
- Italy (excluding partnerships with carmakers) for 26%
- international subsidiaries (excluding Italy) for 14%
- partnerships in 17 countries with carmakers Fiat (FGA Capital) and Ford (Forso), which accounted for 23% of total AUM.
Main areas of development:
Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance is pursuing a three-pronged strategy:
- improve operational efficiency, as demonstrated by the mergers organised in the past few years in the Netherlands, Italy and France, as well as the action taken to contain the increase in crisis-related risk,
- expand outside France: in 2010, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd (GAC), one of the main carmakers in China, and Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance will set up a vehicle finance company in that country,
- build a strong base within the Crédit Agricole Group, especially the Group's banking networks.
In an extraordinarily tough environment, Sofinco and Finaref both consolidated their commercial position in 2009. In France, Sofinco and Finaref's own business took a 19.2% share of the market in 2009 (source: ASF), up from 18.2% in 2008 and 17.6% in 2007.
Marketplace performance was also strong outside France, accounting for 62% of AUM. In 2009 the merger process was completed in the Netherlands, and the merger of Agos and Ducato got underway in Italy. The two alliances are designed to create national leaders in consumer credit in both countries.
International partnerships with carmakers also expanded strongly. Two new development agreements were signed in 2009, making FGA Capital the captive finance company in Europe for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands (with India's Tata), Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep (with Chrysler).
With respect to financial results, the consumer credit subsidiaries of Crédit Agricole S.A. generated net banking income of €3.165 million, up +28%, in 2009. The increase in NBI was partly absorbed by a rise in risk-related costs, which had a similar impact on all countries.
In all, the net income of this segment rose +20% to €457 million, including an exceptional tax gain related to the Agos-Ducato merger.