Eczacibasi looks to Europe for future growth

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS -

AAfter a year of strong growth, Eczacibasi Group will continue to push the frontiers of its business into 2018, says CEO Atalay Gumrah. A cautiously optimistic approach in 2017 paid dividends, he added, as the company was able to capitalize on all of the opportunit­ies the year presented.

“We managed the risks with minimum loss and overshot our budget targets on the turnover and profitabil­ity fronts,” Gumrah told the Anatolian News Agency. “Our total revenues grew by 24 percent. We increased both our exports and revenues from our activities outside of Turkey.”

Gumrah noted that total foreign revenues grew by 32 percent in 2017 and the rate of revenue generated outside Turkey has now topped 50 percent of Eczacibasi’s total turnover.

“2018 will not be easy,” he cautioned, but added that taking advantage of the positive economic environmen­t, especially in Europe, will be their priority in the coming year.

“We invested TRY 300 million in 2017 and plan to invest TRY 1.5 billion over the 2018-2020 period,” Gumrah said. “These figures only cover our organic investment­s. We constantly monitor different opportunit­ies in our priority business areas. Additional investment­s may occur depending on the developmen­ts and opportunit­ies.”

Priorities will be placed on building and consumer goods, natural resources and health groups, though Gumrah expects ambitious real growth in all sectors in which Eczacibasi operates.

“We expect more than 20 percent growth in 2018,” he said. “We aim to increase our profitabil­ity by focusing on new technologi­es and streamlini­ng our produc- tivity. Our priority is to increase our presence in our existing markets, particular­ly in areas where our competence and competitiv­eness is high such as ceramics, consumer products, health and natural resources, and to invest in new markets.”

The EU s the b ggest market

“The global economy is enjoying a positive atmosphere, and demand for global trade and the ongoing abundance of funding resources are giving hope for the future,” Gumrah said, adding that the company continues to expend resources on increasing exports to the Middle East, India and Africa, despite the difficulti­es. “I view 2018 through this prism.”

“The EU is the biggest market for Eczacibasi group,” he added. “Germany, France and Britain are naturally in the foreground. But we can add our northern neighbour Russia to this evaluation as well. We are growing steadily in these markets, and we anticipate that this trend will continue into the coming year. I believe that one of the most valuable opportunit­ies for the Turkish economy is the strong growth in the European economy. Therefore, I believe it is important for Turkey to have a positive political relationsh­ip with the EU and Russia.”

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