As an independent insurance administrator working in partnership with over 100 leasing companies across 13 European countries, Acquis has been providing specialist insurance programmes for equipment leasing for over a decade. During the course of this time we have found that our management data serves as a reliable early indicator of changes in new business volumes across the leasing industry.
Acquis has been sharing trends evident in our data since the impact of the coronavirus across Europe began to emerge in April. Acquis’ own volumes are predominantly made up of small ticket equipment with an average ticket size of €12,000. 58% of the volumes are made up of IT / office equipment, 15% retail and 12% manufacturing, with the remainder consisting of construction, material handling, medical and other assets.
Data recently published by Acquis reveals the impact of the pandemic was felt almost immediately in equipment leasing with volumes of new business dropping to 53% and 46% during April and May respectively, when compared with the first quarter average. A rebound in the market was felt perhaps sooner than many predicted with an upward trajectory emerging in June and reaching 78% of Q1 average by the end of July.
Latest data from Acquis for August reveals the impact of a relatively subdued holiday season on new equipment lease volumes across Europe: August saw volumes drop for the first time since the recovery began in June. At first glance the drop seems fairly profound, with August declining 21% from July, however, there is undoubtedly some seasonality impacting the figures, supported by the fact that Acquis experienced a similar scale July-to-August-drop during 2019. The easing of lockdown restrictions witnessed across continental Europe during July and August meant that many offices and manufacturers still went into the traditional summer “holiday mode” when much of the workforce heads on holiday for the month of August.
While the summer may have negatively affected lease inceptions overall, the good weather period gave a much needed boost to the heavily impacted European restaurant sector where lease inceptions for restaurant equipment were one of the few equipment classes which continued on an upwards trajectory, recovering to 76% of Q1 volumes.
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A look at year on year data shows there is still a long way to recover to 2019 volumes for most European countries, with lease volumes for France running at 53% of August 2019 figures, and the Netherlands performing at 58% when compared with the same period a year ago.
Acquis’ Chief Commercial Officer, James Rudolf, comments, “The drop in August volumes comes as no real surprise as it reflects the seasonal drop we witness every year during the month. Overall, there are still positive signs of recovery but the retightening of social restrictions that we are seeing across Europe and the knock on effect this will have on economic activity means the outlook will continue to look bumpy for some months to come. Thanks to the support of our stable insurance partners, Acquis is very well positioned to continue to support our clients and their customers as we head into an unpredictable winter season.”