Message from the CEO

Çağlar Göğüş

Esteemed Stakeholders,

Experiencing contractions since 2018, the Turkish economy was seriously affected by the COVID-19 epidemic that raged throughout the year, and by other disasters that struck our country. The Turkish economy contracted by 9.9% in the second quarter of 2020 when strict measures were implemented. Thanks to the normalization process that commenced in June, and the interest rate cuts of the economics administration to revitalize the markets, growth of 6.7% was achieved in the third quarter. With this performance, Turkey became the fastest growing country among G-20 countries in the third quarter. In 2020, the Turkish economy grew by 1.8%. While 5.8% growth is targeted for 2021 in the New Economy Program (YEP), international organizations such as the OECD and IMF also estimate that the Turkish economy will grow by between 3% and 5% in 2021.

As Doğan Holding, we carefully managed the uncertainties despite all the negative developments in 2020. Thanks to our balanced portfolio and our balance sheet free of short position, we were able to demonstrate a positive performance. While achieving our goals in 2020, we surpassed our targets in EBITDA terms.

We achieved outstanding growth rates in the fields of electricity generation, automotive, internet and media. Despite the contractions in the fields of real estate and petroleum products retail partially, our profitability in other fields was positive. Of our EBITDA 29% is achieved from electricity generation and trading. Meanwhile, 24% of EBITDA is generated from Aytemiz, while 17% is recorded from media-internet-entertainment, 16% from industry and trade, 6% from finance and investment, 3% from automotive, and 5% from tourism and real estate investments. And although it was a year overshadowed by the crisis, we achieved important improvements in terms of Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) in 2020 except for the real estate and petroleum products sectors. The valuecreating plans we have made during our restructuring process and the efforts within the scope of the Doğan Investment Strategy began to yield positive results in 2020.

Despite the pandemic, we commissioned our Taşpınar WPP, which has a high capacity utilization rate. Therefore, we managed to increase our total installed capacity in the field of renewable energy to 269 MW. We continue to pursue new investment opportunities. Aytemiz generated net profit in this challenging year when oil prices fell notably. Continuing to renovate its stations, Aytemiz made a difference in the market with an innovative product named “Vaay.” Kanal D Romania maintained its successful performance by rising to second place in prime time with its impressive programmes. Doğan Dış Ticaret expanded its business model with alternative channels, following its rapid transformation in 2018. We also continue our industrial transformation efforts. Ditaş and Çelik Halat continue to invest in technological transformation and capacity increase. For the first time in 2020, Ditaş started to produce parts for passenger cars.

After renewing its technological infrastructure, Hürriyet Emlak began to improve many of its operational metrics. Doğan Egmont and Doğan Burda created different business areas and expanded their activities. In 2020, a partnership was signed with Believe International DMC, one of the key players in the field of digital music. With its new name “Doğan Trend Otomotiv,” Trend Oto conducted successful projects such as and Arabam Yolda. Doğan Trend Otomotiv added new brands (Kymco, MG, Silence, and Wall Charge) to its portfolio.

2020 was an investment year for the Holding. In July, we acquired 70% of the shares of Sesa Ambalaj, a company on its way to becoming a global brand in the field of high barrier food and special recyclable packaging. With a focus on the field of finance, we established D Investment Bank with a capital of TL 200 million.

2020 was also highly successful in terms of stock performance. Compared to the 29% increase of the BIST-100 index, Doğan Holding stocks skyrocketed by 71% and our market value exceeded USD 1 billion for the first time.

We will expand the field of application of our employer brand

Within the scope of the research we conducted with a new approach to human resources at the beginning of 2020, our employees in Group companies defined our employer brand as: “Appreciative, value-adding, principled, transparent, dynamic, consistent, prestigious, sincere, assuring and performance-oriented.”

Doğan Group’s brand power and sector diversity create an important opportunity in the field of employment. In addition to our entrepreneurial and agile structure, we are value-centered in everything we do.

The values that we adopt, namely, “we appreciate, innovate, act responsibly and transparently, we embrace with passion, and achieve together” coincide with our core principles of “Responsibility, Bonding, Success, and Innovation.” Our commitment and experience as an employer are in line with each other.

We will manage our employer brand in terms of talent, career, development, life and innovation. We will manage our internship programs as well as our practices regarding the recruitment of new graduates or young professionals with “Talent in Doğan”; our hiring, career development and rotation practices with “Career in Doğan”; our professional and individual development programs and learning from each other, coaching or mentoring programs with “Development in Doğan”; social responsibility and all social events with “Life in Doğan” and practices such as in-house entrepreneurship and suggestion systems with “Innovation in Doğan.” We will stand by our employees throughout their career development. In addition to encouraging entrepreneurial ideas and creating value with a transparent approach, we aim to apply these practices in all Group companies. In 2021, we will focus on expanding the field of application of our employer brand and improve its effectiveness.

Value-creating investments for society and the planet

As the globalization model came into question following the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that the current economic system was not sustainable. In order to achieve a more equal and fair world order, the business world needs to take the initiative. We will work for our planet, our society, and our future in line with the Doğan Impact Plan prepared to guide us on this journey. At Doğan Holding, we contribute to creating a better future through valuable and responsible investments and by generating long-term solutions. Driven by our root values, we focus on creating a positive impact with all our investments by taking advantage of innovative and value-oriented business opportunities created by Sustainable Development Goals.

By 2025, we aim to increase the share of funds focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance to 10% in our investor portfolio. In addition, we aim to improve our ESG score to AAA. As ESG-focused investors invest in our Group, our sustainability performance will become controllable and visible by international platforms. To achieve our goal of becoming a carbon-neutral organization by 2030, we will introduce many energy efficiency practices such as renewable energy installation and green electricity supply. The importance of water was recognized once again with the increased incidence of drought. We aim to restore all the water we use to nature by 2030. In order to achieve this, we adopt the global best practices for water recovery in our operations where water is used extensively, and we invest in transformation projects for our buildings and office spaces that will minimize our environmental impact.

With the importance we attach to gender equality, we are committed to increasing the ratio of female board members throughout the Group to at least 40% by 2030 in order to achieve a more equal workplace.

As Doğan Group, we are reducing our environmental and social impact, and we seek out new investments in line with this approach to become an organization that adds value to society and the planet. We will continue to prioritize innovation and transformation in all our activities while aiming to create environmental and social benefits in addition to economic development.

I would like to extend my gratitude to all our stakeholders who supported Doğan Holding’s operations in 2020.

Çağlar GÖĞÜŞ
Chief Executive Officer