LEVENT Çakıroğlu has been general manager of Arçelik for 10 months. Çakıroğlu says that, as a global company, they have some advantages during the crisis, explaining: “Arçelik has been active in different markets since 2000. For this reason we began to receive the preliminary warning signals of a crisis from different markets. From that moment on we began to take measures to make our company more competitive.” The most important item on Levent Çakıroğlu’s agenda is growth. Arçelik wants to benefit from global growth opportunities. Arçelik General Manager Levent Çakıroğlu spoke with Capital for the first time since he took up his post. He evaluated 2008 and explained what is on his agenda for 2009. Here are Levent Çakıroğlu’s answers to our questions:
Capital: How much has Arçelik been affected by the crisis?
- We are talking about a crisis which is much broader and much deeper than those we have seen in the past. Despite the difficulties, we closed 2008 with growth. In 2008, our consolidated total turnover stood at TL 6.8 billion. Approximately 50 percent of this came from our international operations. We achieved total growth of around 2 percent.
Capital: The values of companies and assets fell. Do you have any plans on your agenda to buy a foreign company? How do you plan to continue Arçelik’s growth?
- We are looking both at growth in our existing markets and at strategies to enter markets in which we are not yet active. This year our company secured a cash inflow of TL 500 million, through the sale of shares in Koç Financial Services, which was one of our companies, for TL 250 million and through a capital increase of TL 250 million. We are closely following acquisition opportunities that will contribute to our profitability in line with our growth policies.
Capital: Are you interested in any markets in particular?
- There are markets in which we have plans to strengthen our position or enter for the first time. We are giving priority here to the Middle East and the continent of Africa.