Autogrill S.p.A. (Milan: AGL IM) and Impel Group (Warsaw: IPL PW), Poland’s biggest outsourcing services provider, have signed an agreement to set up a new company, Autogrill Polska, to operate f&b locations on the country’s main motorways.
“We consider our development in Poland as a strategic one, this country representing the main gateway between West and Eastern Europe. Poland is one of the most advanced economies in Eastern Europe and this agreement takes into account the high potential for infrastructure development it has in the near future,” said Giorgio Minardi, general manager Autogrill Europe. “Impel is a primary Polish operator, very well rooted in the territory, and with an in-depth knowledge of the local market. Thanks to this joint-venture we will be able to better satisfy consumers’ demands with a tailor made offering,” he concluded.
Autogrill is one of the first international f&b operators to enter the Polish market, which is dominated by many local players. The operation gives further impetus to the Group’s business development strategy in Central & Eastern Europe, where it has operated in Slovenia since 2005 and the Czech Republic since 2007.
“We decided to co-operate with Autogrill because of its valuable know-how. The new investment will enable further development of Impel’s catering business on a dynamic market. The travel f&b business has great potential, especially in Poland, where we can expect rapid expansion of motorways and freeways in the next few years. Additionally there is a very clear tendency to an intensified movement of the travelling people as well as a constant economic growth in Poland. The decision to work with Autogrill is fully in line with Impel Group’s development strategy, At the moment Impel cooperates with PKN Orlen on the gas station in Tulce, Osiecz and Zalesie.” said Impel Group CEO Grzegorz Dzik.
By the end of 2009, Autogrill Polska will take over catering management in another four service areas on the A4 (Młynski Staw, Rzedziwojowice, Halemba, Wirek) following an agreement with Shell. The overall objective is to bring to 11 the number of service area under management of Autogrill Polska by 2010. The f&b offer will be based on a snack-bar and self-service concepts providing a wide range of worldwide cuisine.
The service areas are along the A1, A2 and the A4 - representing the main gateways in Europe. The venture takes into account the fact that Poland’s motorway system, which in 2007 totalled around 750 kilometres, will expand to over 1,700 km of motorways and 1,800 km of freeways by the end of 2013, giving it additional opportunities for expansion. Freeways and motorways will be followed by the other channels, subject to appraisal of opportunities in airports, railway stations, shopping malls and museums.