Dear Shareholders, Business Partners and Colleagues,
Unfortunately, we started 2023 with heartbreaking earthquakes. We lost thousands of citizens due to the two earthquakes that struck 10 of our provinces. We are deeply sorrowed. Since the first day of the disaster, however, the Doğan Group has stood by our citizens, as we always have. The Doğan Group has allocated TL 150 million in resources to the earthquake zones. Part of this aid was delivered to the region to help meet urgent needs there, and the other part will be donated to AFAD (the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) in the near future to improve living conditions in the region. In addition, as part of the Aydın Doğan Foundation's Powerful Girls, Powerful Future project, we will provide 1,000 students with lifelong educational scholarships in the first stage, and we will continue to stand by the people in the earthquake-hit region. I firmly believe that with the government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector acting together, we will heal our wounds together and become more powerful than we were before.
In 2022, global inflation and recession concerns increased, the balance of power was upset by Russia’s war against Ukraine starting in February, and prices of energy, food, and fertilizers in particular significantly increased. Rising commodity and energy prices, as well as supply chain disruptions, further increased global inflation concerns. During this process, the acceleration of the US Central Bank's interest rate hikes weakened risk appetites around the globe. On the other hand, it wasn’t all negative. One important achievement from last year was bringing the Covid pandemic largely under control through intensive vaccination campaigns all over the world, including our country. In this way, we mostly returned to our normal lives.
The impact of the new economic model introduced in our country in 2021 was felt more effectively in 2022. Turkey closed 2021 with an inflation rate of 35%, and 2022 at 65%. Average consumer loan interest rates at commercial banks reached around 30%, resulting in negative real interest rates around -35%, increasing demand for products such as real estate, stocks, and automobiles that could provide above-inflation returns. In 2022, the economy of our country continued to grow, and our exports also took a great leap forward.
The Doğan Group succeeded at closing this difficult year with good results by managing change and uncertainty, and making timely decisions. The transformation we achieved through our Value Creation Plans made the Doğan Group’s portfolio more balanced and efficient. Even though inflation was high in 2022 and exchange rate fluctuations continued, we worked with very dynamic scenarios. We protected our balance sheets against currency fluctuations. We managed inflation-related cost increases in a balanced way. Our excellent executive team closely monitored all our transactions on a daily basis, focusing especially on working capital and cash borrowing. Our turnover was TL 45 billion 872 million, and our EBITDA amount increased by 151% compared to 2021, reaching TL 4 billion 61 million.
Our holding values responsible investment and the creation of sustainable value, so we continued to invest in strategic areas in 2022. Accordingly, we continued to grow throughout the year, especially in the areas of renewable energy, industry, technology, and in mobilized and value-added industrial sectors.
Partnering with successful family companies in Turkey and turning them into regional and global players is an important element of our strategy. In 2022, as part of our goal of investing in businesses that will create benefits for our group and our country in the future, we acquired a majority share of Karel, Turkey's leading technology company in R&D, design, and production with a 35-years long history and 4,000 employees. There is a significant growth potential in every area of Karel’s business. Our goal is to develop technologies together with Karel in Turkey, and further expand their value in foreign countries.
Renewable energy was also one of our top priorities in 2022. With the purchase of the Galata Wind Muğla WPP project, we will increase our capacity another 9 MW when the project is complete. As part of our renewable energy investments, we also increased the power supply at Galata Wind Taşpınar WPP with operations commencing in the first months of 2023. Future investments will bring our total capacity to 500 MW by 2025.
Entering the investment banking sector in 2021 with the goal of boosting a new generation, Doğan Investment Bank launched the KobiKrediD Platform, helping SMEs get financial support and allowing them to apply for loans from their locations. Hepiyi Sigorta, the youngest digital insurance company in Turkey, also started its operations.
In addition to these, Doğan Trend Otomotiv continued its sustainable mobility investments in 2022, signing a motorcycle production agreement with KYMCO, whom it represents in Turkey. We added the companies Profil Sanayi and 3S Kalıp to Ditaş, and we acquired Maksipak to incorporate it with SESA Ambalaj.
Besides these acquisitions, we also simplified our operations, selling Çelik Halat and the Milpa property.
In 2022, the climate crisis remained on the agenda as the biggest problem our planet is currently facing. According to the World Economic Forum's 2022 Global Risks Report, the top three most serious risks over the next 10 years will be climate action issues, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss. Despite positive developments regarding climate compensation for countries’ loss and damage at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference COP27, which we attended in Egypt in cooperation with Galata Wind and Yuvam Dünya, sufficiently ambitious steps to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees did not materialize.
Stakeholder capitalism is a possible solution for the climate crisis, focusing on creating common, sustainable values for all stakeholders. Doğan Holding is committed to sharing our sustainability performance transparently with all our stakeholders in accordance with the standards established in this context in 2021. In 2022, our Group companies took important steps towards making stakeholder capitalism metrics an integral part of our reporting and sustainability strategy. Both our Holding and Group companies added sustainability to their DNA.
The Doğan Group believes that its most important capital is human resources. To make the most effective use of human resources, we consider training within the Group, the development of our employees, and the realization of their career plans to be very important. We prefer to meet the personnel needs of both the Holding and our companies largely through internal resources, thus providing our employees with job satisfaction and making it easier for them to create a career within the Group by adhering to the principle of merit. We also pay special attention to gender equality in the formation and development of our human resources. We have started to implement the ‘’UN Women's Empowerment Principles’’, which we signed with the goal of increasing the number of women in work life and improving their position.
In addition, we established a sustainability governance infrastructure in 2022 to achieve our common goals within the scope of the ‘’Doğan Impact Plan’’. Along with our Sustainability Committee, colleagues from our Group companies established the ‘’Doğan Impact Team’’. We involved employees in the process, creating work groups that cover social, global, and future issues. Since sustainability is one of our most important values, we organized training throughout the year on the topics of sustainability, gender equality, and sustainable finance.
In line with our common values and goals, our sustainability activities will continue to progress in 2023.
2023 is the 100th Year anniversary of our Republic. In our second century, we will continue to work to add value to our country, to our people, and to our world in accordance with the values of the Republic. We are a dynamic and entrepreneurial Group. As our Honorary President Aydın Doğan said, "One who stops, falls down". Therefore, in 2023, we will continue to increase our investments in sectors that are compatible with macro trends, simplify our portfolio, grow organically and inorganically in areas where we see opportunities, and create value for our investors, partners, and employees with our responsible business model.
Y. Begümhan DOĞAN FARALYALI
Chair of the Board of Directors