ALF unveils recovery of Specialized Financing in the first quarter
After two years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are speeding up investments using specialized financing, even surpassing 2019 figures. According to data revealed by the Portuguese Association of Leasing, Factoring and Renting (ALF), for the first quarter of 2022, Factoring and Renting are already with production values higher than 2019, and leasing registers a year-on-year growth rate of 17.5%.
In a quarter in which the Portuguese economy registered an 11.9% increase in GDP over the same period in 2021, the support provided by ALF members through Factoring once again surpassed this indicator, accelerating 33% to 9.84 billion euros of turnover in 2022.
In International Factoring, turnover grew 25% to 1.13 billion euros, compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
In Domestic Factoring, where ALF members contributed with 4.5 billion euros, performance was 35.3% higher than in the first quarter of last year. Recourse factoring, in which credit risk is not hedged, grew by 22.2% year-on-year to €2.13 billion, while non-recourse factoring rose by 49.6% to €2.40 billion. However, contrary to the initial perception, it is in recourse factoring that one finds the most impactful comparison with pre-pandemic years: when analyzing the change from 2019 to 2022, the increase exceeds 60%. In non-recourse domestic factoring, growth compared to 2019 was only 9.4%.
The role of specialized financing in supporting companies improved across all indicators of the three sectors of activity represented by ALF. Leasing recorded a 17.5% increase in the value of its production over the same period last year, with property leasing being the major driver, up 41.2% to 206.9 million euros. Equipment and vehicle leasing grew 6.5% in value, to 388.14 million euros, with vehicles representing two thirds of the value, as a result of the 5,834 vehicles financed. Financed equipment investments totaled 114.4 million euros.
With a total of 12,994 vehicles being acquired through Leasing and Renting during the first quarter, equivalent to 30.6% of the total automobile market in Portugal, ALF members once again proved their ability to channel investment to support companies and individuals. To the more than 5,800 automobiles that went through Leasing, Renting added the acquisition of 7,160 new light vehicles. In this sector, the recovery seen in the first quarter meant the recovery to pre-pandemic values. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2019, production in number and value grew 2.5% and 13.9%, respectively. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a 10.5% increase in the number of new vehicles acquired through Renting. In terms of investment, new contracts reached, at the end of the quarter, an accumulated amount of 166.7 million euros, an increase of 19.3%.
With regard to the total fleet managed by the Rentings, contracts worth 1.97 billion euros have been recorded, an increase of 3.7% compared to the same period in 2021. This value translates into 121 thousand vehicles in fleets of Portuguese companies. Compared to 2019, Renting is already growing 7.3% in the number of vehicles managed and 6.0% in fleet value.
For the president of ALF, Luís Augusto, "a favorable economic climate was felt in the first quarter of this year, to which specialized financing responded with an increase in allocations to companies and individuals. Although almost half of the period under review was marked by uncertainty created by the war in Ukraine, ALF is pleased to note the resilience of economic agents, who maintained investments despite international concerns, including rising energy prices and rising inflation. In this context, ALF members recorded significant increases in their activity, as a result of the funds they channeled to support the economy", notes the association's spokesperson.