Dr. Erdal Karamercan is CEO of the Eczacıbaşı Group… He says that 2004 went very well and that the group had a turnover of $2.3 billion. “This turnover represents a growth of over 30 percent,” he says. Karamercan adds: “We have made our plans for 2007 and our target is to double the value of the holding by 2007 when compared with the beginning of 2004.”
The foundations for Eczacıbaşı Holding were laid in 1942. It started in business with pharmaceuticals and expanded rapidly both in this field and through construction materials and consumer products. The growth of the holding was supported by its financial, information technology and welding electrode activities. It has continually increased its corporate prestige through the support it has given to social responsibility projects.
The CEO of Eczacıbaşı Holding is Dr. Erdal Karamercan. He says that, from their own perspective, 2004 was an extremely successful year. He explains that the figures have yet to be finalized but that the forecast is that the holding posted a total turnover of $2.3 billion during the year. He says that what made them most happy in 2004 was the volume of their foreign sales. He notes that their exports increased by 40 percent compared with the previous year to $570 million. Erdal Karamercan told Capital about Eczacıbaşı Holding’s current activities and its plans and targets for the future.
Where will Eczacıbaşı be at the end of 2005? What are your targets for the end of the year?
We set out this year with a very basic target. Our target is to double the value of the holding by the end of 2007 when compared with the beginning of 2004. We have formulated plans for our groups and companies in line with this basic target. So our long-term plans for the period 2005-2007 have also determined the financial dimensions of the basic targets we have set ourselves.
How much are you planning to invest this year?
From the point of view of fixed investments, we are planning to realize investments worth $150 million, which represents a 50 percent increase on 2004. Most of these investments will be in areas in which we are already active.
In addition, we shall devote particular attention to investments abroad in 2005. However much we may be planning to invest in 2005 in areas in which are already active, we are always evaluating new possibilities. What is important for us is the development of projects which are in keeping with our values, basic aims and strategies.
There was a considerable growth in the economy in 2005. This had a positive impact on every sector. A fall in demand for durable consumer goods and automotives in particular is expected in 2005. Are you expecting a decline in the demand for consumer goods?
2004 was a year in which the economy heated up a little. The growth rate approached 10 percent. But there was a relative slowdown in growth towards the end of the year. As a result, I do not expect the growth rate in 2005 to be as rapid as in 2004. For this reason, I do not believe that the domestic market will record the same levels of growth as in 2004. On the other hand, I think that our foreign sales will increase rapidly. Turkey understood the importance of foreign sales better after the 2001 crisis. As a result, I think that there will be an increase in investments for foreign sales in particular.
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