HALUK DİNÇER is head of the Sabancı Holding Retail and Insurance Group. He is responsible for retailing, which is one of the Holding's main branches of business. He manages a turnover of TL 3.1 billion, which accounts for 13.5 percent of the group's total turnover. This figure does not include insurance, for which he is also responsible. 2012 is going to be an extremely busy year for him. Because it will be the year which decides the fate of the 16 year-old partnership with Carrefour. When it comes to Carrefour, the holding is continuing the process of "evaluating strategic alternatives". "Everything is possible. Our road map will become clear by the end of the year," says Haluk Dinçer. We spoke with him about the group's plans in retailing and its future targets.
Could you summarize with the latest figures the Sabancı Group's strength in retailing?
- The retail and insurance group is one of Sabancı Holding's main business branches. Our companies are Carrefoursa, Diasa, Teknosa, Aksigorta and Avivasa. In 2011, we had a combined turnover of TL 5.1 billion and a consolidated turnover of TL 3.1 billion. The retail group accounts for 13.5 percent of the Holding's consolidated turnover.
How was 2011 for Carrefoursa? What are your targets for 2012?
- Carrefoursa's turnover in 2011 was TL 2.5 billion. The company's performance was below our expectations. We hope that 2012 wili be a better year. This year, instead of growth, we shall concentrate on improving our existing distribution network and the performances of our supermarkets.
Sabancı Holding CEO Zafer Kurtul said "Our status with regard to Carrefour will change" and Güler Sabancı said "We shall either sell or buy". What is the latest situation?
- There has been a decline in Carrefour's performance in Turkey in recent years. This has been mainly the result of frequent changes in the management. For this reason we have started a study to evaluate future strategic alternatives. But no decision has yet been taken on buying or selling. This is a decision that must be taken with the partners. We believe that the process will be completed by the end of this year.
The Holding released a statement that "We want to evaluate opportunities for organic and inorganic growth in retailing." What are these opportunities?
- In fact, we are looking at all opportunities. Our operations, both big and small, have in any case been continuing for quite a long time. It looks as if small local chains will at some point be bought out by the big chains. At the Sabancı Retail Group we shall continue with this strategy.