Athlon CEO Henk Bierstee says synergies from the company's range of retail businesses have impressed investors.
The Dutch dealer and car leasing company's total shareholder return was 124.8 percent during the three years ending March 31, 2000. That ranked it first among 17 publicly-traded retail businesses surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Athlon's activities include new and used car sales, repair services and a fleet of 17,350 lease cars and 14,150 rental cars.
'These businesses complement each other perfectly well because our own fleet benefits from sales and repair activities and vice versa,' said Bierstee. 'We consider ourselves a mobility provider.'
Athlon was founded in 1991, incorporating the former RIVA Opel-dealership in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, founded in 1916, plus one of Holland's earliest car lease companies.
The company is expanding into Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany. It has made several acquisitions although all but one of its 11 dealers are still in Holland.
About 55 percent of Athlon's overall sales were generated in the Netherlands, down from 58 percent in 1998.
In 1999, Athlon sold 6,100 new cars and 5,100 used cars through its dealers.
Last year, net profits grew 43 percent to A27 million on a 53 percent increase in revenue to A923 million. But the company's shares lost 32 percent of their value last year.
Bierstee said: 'Apart from a general lower appreciation of traditional shares, one reason for the decrease is that local Dutch pension funds were legally allowed to invest in other Eurozone countries starting last year.'