The Message of Executive Chairman
Our country has successfully weathered the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to its effective response and actions. At İhlas Group, we are pleased to play a role in overcoming the pandemic by fulfilling our social responsibilities.
In 2019, we observed a significant increase in risks and a consequent deceleration of growth in the global economy. In addition to ongoing trade wars between the United States and China, the multidimensional conflict in the Middle East, along with Brexit-related stress in the Eurozone, exerted downward pressure on global growth. Rife with trade wars and recession fears, 2019 featured global economic growth of 2.9% according to the IMF. The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, first seen in the Wuhan Canton of China in December, further highlighted the interdependence between global and regional economies and sectors while creating highly challenging economic conditions worldwide.
The powerhouse of the Euro Zone, even Germany showed contracting growth, at 1% in the second quarter of 2019 due to declining export volumes. This, along with China’s increasing inflation, revealed the negative impact of uncertainty on even the strongest actors in the global economy.
Offsetting steps against increasing global risk perception
Despite the general negative outlook in the global conjuncture in 2019, the offsetting steps of Public Authority initiated in 2018 started to provide results. As a result of macro-economic measures taken as part of the New Economic Program, Exchange rates were stabilized and the Central Bank’s (TCMB) interest rates decreased to 12% as of the end of the year, from 24% at the beginning of the year. Resuming the growth process in the third quarter of the year at 0.9% with a boost from public investments, Turkey increased its total exports to USD 180.5 billion, rising 2.4% due to the private sector’s skillfulness in finding new markets. As of the end of 2019, our country’s current deficit was USD 29.9 billion, with 44.9% decrease compared to 2018, and inflation once again began to shrink.
Guided by our experience and commitment
As one of Turkey’s most deep-rooted business groups, İhlas Holding continued to lead in its areas of activity in 2019, despite an environment of rising risk perception. Successfully representing the İhlas brand across a wide range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, marketing and media, and health and education, the Holding’s total assets reached TRY 3 billion, rising 23% compared to the previous year. The total shareholders’ equity reached TRY 1,242 million, rising 53%. The Holding’s agile management approach enabled a company-wide increase in productivity by successfully taking firm steps towards digital transformation.
Sustainable growth trend in the construction sector
In 2019, İhlas Holding continued its sustainable performance in the construction business, which constitutes its most important area of activity. The Group increased sales in the third quarter of 2019, due to lower mortgage interest rates, and strengthened its organizational structure with the incorporation of İhlas İnşaat Holding into İhlas Gayrimenkul The Group will continue to effectively market its current high-demand projects and add new projects to its portfolio.
Our digital transformation-oriented crisis management approach
When the coronavirus pandemic emerged, we were able to minimize the negative impact on our business lines through our professional risk management approach and long-term digital transformation investments. We implemented social distancing measures immediately after the first COVID-19 cases were reported in Turkey: the Group also implemented remote editing processes for Türkiye
Newspaper, and enabled students to seamlessly continue their education via the establishment of a remote education infrastructure for İhlas College independent of the Ministry of National Education. With a responsible broadcasting approach and strong technological infrastructure, the İhlas News Agency (İHA) and TGRT News took on leading roles in communicating with the public, providing accurate information and relaying the activities of the Ministry of Health, around the clock, to our citizens. The Türkiye Hospital also helped, implementing the leading treatments in the field for COVID-19 cases and successfully treating many patients.
We believe that our country, as well as our Group, will overcome the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic successfully, thanks to our risk management approach based on a solid infrastructure and our digital transformation investments.
Armed with a strong and prudent management approach, we will continue to succeed
At İhlas Holding, our long experience has provided us with a farsighted approach to economic risks that arise on a global scale. We look forward to a future full of hope, thanks to our country’s human and material resources, as well as our confidence in the strong and prudent management approach that has served our Group so successfully all these years. I thank all our shareholders, who have continuously supported our consistent and committed activities in the 2019 operating year.
With my most sincere confidence and hope for our continued success…
Ahmet Mücahid Ören