We continue to work with our goal of sustainable growth
As Limak, we bear the pride of having completed one more year, which was equally persevering, intense and successful as the other years we have left behind. In 2015, we have continued our growth in all sectors where we operate and have reached closer to achieving our goal to be included among the firsts. Our Group has left behind a quite productive year by the projects undertaken both domestically and abroad.
When we evaluate 2015 from the perspective of global economy, we might say that it has been a hard year. Despite the economic recovery in the USA, the problems experienced in the commodity producer developing countries led to significant fluctuations during the year. The fluctuations experienced in the global markets reflected onto the Turkish economy negatively also, similar to many developing economies. However, despite all these problems, the Turkish economy once more demonstrated how strong its foundations are. In 2015, when the economy shrunk in many developing countries and the growth levels remained very low in the developed economies, the Turkish economy is expected to grow around 4 percent despite the experienced difficulties and this positive performance is expected to reflect onto the coming period with the elimination of political ambiguity.
During such a period, we have left behind a successful year for Limak. We have increased the number of countries where we operate, which were 10 last year, to 13 and as a result of these activities, we have reached a figure of more than 42 thousand employees.
During this period, many domestic and international construction projects were again included in our portfolio. We submitted the best bid in the tender for the Kuwait International Airport New Terminal Building Construction tender. We want to be able to append the final signatures and start to work within 2016. We would like to proudly point out that this tender also poses as the largest project that has been awarded to Turkish contractors by themselves. Another important international project that we have been awarded in 2015 has been the Rostov-On-Don International Airport construction in Russia. We will complete this construction swiftly also and make it ready for the FIFA World Cup that will be organized in Russia in 2018.
On the other hand, we have also completed both of our water transmission line projects in Saudi Arabia and our metrobus projects in Pakistan. Meanwhile, in addition to our investments in Kosovo in the Balkans, we will start a very important real property investment project in Macedonia in 2016. With this project that we will build in the most popular neighborhood of Skopje, we are also stepping into a new sector as Limak.
Our domestic projects have continued rapidly also in 2015. In the construction of the Istanbul New Airport, the first stage is completed by 15 percent and we plan to complete the first stage of this construction during the first quarter of 2018 and take the airport into service with a passenger capacity of 90 million. Meanwhile, the Ankara High Speed Train Station that will be the first and one the world’s most modern train stations, which we have built with our partners, will be taken into service in May 2016. Our Yusufeli Dam and HEPP are continuing at full speed. And, one of the most important projects we have undertaken domestically has been the “TANAP - Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Lot 4”.
Meanwhile, we have managed to become an important player in the energy sector by the steps we have taken in generation, distribution and trade. On the generation side, we have started the renovation investment of the Hamitabat Natural Gas Combined-Cycle Power Plant in 2015. This investment will continue in 2016 and we will take our new turbines into operation in 2017. We have taken the Pembelik Dam and HEPP into operation in 2015. On the other hand, the investment for the Kargı Dam of 100 MW power is continued in Ankara. We will follow up on power generation plant privatizations closely also in 2016. We aim to further reinforce our position in electricity trade, where we have become an important actor, in 2016.
In the Cement Group, we have started the investments of the New Limak Anka Integrated Cement Factory and the Kilis Integrated Cement Factory in the country. We have taken the Limak Kilis BİMS plant into operation. In 2016, the investments will continue in the two new factories we are building in Ankara and Kilis. Upon the completion of these investments and the planned new investments, we aim to be the biggest actor of the cement sector in Turkey. Meanwhile, we have started two factory investments abroad, in Mozambique and the Ivory Coast. 2016 will be a year when the constructions of these factories will be continued at full speed. We do not look at the African continent solely from the perspective of the cement sector investments. As Limak, we have a goal of becoming an important player in this continent in future. We will be following up on opportunities in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and tourism also within this framework.
On the other hand, we have left behind a successful year in the Tourism Group despite the regional tensions. We will open our new 1,100-bed hotel, which is continuing rapidly, in Cyprus in 2017 and increase the number of our hotels to 8 and our bed capacity over 6,000.
In addition to the successful economic performance in our operational and commercial activities, we have focused on minimizing environmental impacts and creating value for our social stakeholders and the society even more in the value chain within all areas where we operate in 2015, for the sake of an even more livable future.
Other than our various ongoing social responsibility projects, we have initiated the Turkey’s Engineer Girls in 2015. With this project, we aim to support school girls, who are or will be receiving engineering education, from various aspects during their high-school and university education. The Engineer Girls of Turkey Project includes numerous support activities in addition to encouraging school girls in all four corners of our country, from Istanbul to Erzurum, for engineering education. The positive messages we have received from very different segments of the society regarding our project have made us very happy and also encouraged us even further regarding our future plans. The program that we have started with 40 students in our 40th year will include even more students into its organization in the coming years.
In the meantime, the KEDS Academy established by the Kosovo Electricity Distribution Company, where we are a partner, and the LimakASI within the organization of the Pristina Airport that we operate, have managed to be an important solution for the unemployment problem in the country. These projects have been found worthy of many awards in 2015 in the international sense.
On behalf of Limak, we are welcoming 2016 with a different excitement and enthusiasm. We are celebrating the 40th year of our establishment this year. When we look from the perspective of human life, 40 years is really a long period, but when we look from the perspective of corporate companies, we are yet very young. And with the dynamism of this youth, we have to take the corporate steps to carry our company to the coming centuries. We believe that our country also needs this. We have very important objectives such as brands that surpass Turkey, make their marks worldwide in their sectors. When we have accomplished this, we will also contribute to the Turkish economy and the image of Turkey in the international arena.
As we leave another year behind, we believe that we have a lot more roads to walk together with all our employees and stakeholders, and a lot more successful works to leave for our country and the world. We hope that 2016 will be a year when we will achieve our objectives in all sectors where we operate and carry Limak even further.
Chairman of Board of Directors
Vice Chairman of Board of Directors