Chairman’s message

With the world’s economies still unable to shake off the effects of the global economic crisis, 2011 was yet another year fraught with uncertainties. Now, as we are approaching the end of 2012, the outlook for 2013 remains no less murky what with Europe’s ongoing sovereign debt crisis, political volatilities in our own near abroad, less-than-decisive national election results in the US, and diminishing growth momentum among the developing countries that once looked like being the engines of the global economy.

For Turkey, 2011 was a year in which our national economy grew and we saw our regional influence increase. The uncertainties which still plague global markets will certainly have an impact on our country’s economic growth, which nevertheless achieved a remarkable 8% performance in 2011; however Turkey will continue to be a center of attraction for the rest of the world in the period ahead as its own “soft landing”, supported by crisis-management experience and by a national economy erected on structurally sound foundations, continues to unfold.

At a time when economies around the world are slowing down and uncertainties remain unabated, the problem of sustainability continues to confront us as an issue that every company on the global stage must contend with. As the Zorlu Group, our actions are informed by an innovative and venturesome point of view in every sector in which we are active: we continue to invest prudently; we exploit opportunities by entering markets that our competitors will not go into; we expand and enlarge our sphere of influence. In such ways do we eliminate the risks inherent in a climate of uncertainty while also positioning ourselves so as to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from such risks.

With nearly 25,000 employees and the 61 companies that we have built on the four solid pillars of energy, real estate, white goods, and textiles, we, as the Zorlu Group, are striving to improve both our country’s competitive strength and the quality of life of its people. Today we are one of the engines of our nation’s economy. In the international arena the banner of the Zorlu Group flies as the marker of our trailblazing successes. Likewise in the period ahead, we shall continue to advance resolutely in line with our goals of strengthening our leading position in every business line in which we are active, of taking advantage of opportunities through the entrepreneurial vision that is inherent in our genes, and of expanding our presence at the international level.

Summoning the strengths of group companies that continue to author trailblazing, innovative initiatives in our areas of activity, we are preparing ourselves for a successful year however unfavorable prevailing conditions may be. For more than a quarter of a century, Vestel has remained on course as our country’s technology leader. Distinguishing itself by virtue of its strong R&D capabilities and by the importance which it gives to innovation, customer satisfaction and design, Vestel continues to boost its competitive strength wherever it may be active.

Zorlu Real Estate seeks to acquaint people with new lifestyles by developing real estate projects that serve as exemplary models for the rest of the world and by achieving things that have never been done before. One such project is the Zorlu Center, which has already begun to change the face of Ýstanbul.

Through Zorlu Energy, which is advancing resolutely towards becoming a potent force in both national and international energy markets, we continue to undertake projects that respect natural, cultural, and human values while focusing on investments that seek to make use of non-carbon energy resources such as geothermal, wind, and hydroelectric power. Thus we have laid the foundations of Turkey’s biggest geothermal power plant in Kýzýldere, where our country’s richest geothermal resources are to be found. We made substantial progress during 2012 in the construction of the Dorad Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant in Israel. Another major international project in which we are involved is the wind power plant that we are building in the Jhimpir region of Pakistan. This plant, which has a rated capacity of 800 MW, will go into operation in the first half of 2013.

In 2012 we undertook our first venture into mineral extraction. This is a new business line in which we have set big objectives for ourselves. We plan to achieve a production capacity of 10,000 tons in the first half of 2013 and a nickel-processing capacity of 20,000 tons by 2016. We are now advancing confidently towards these goals while remaining faithful to our principles of making proper use of technology and being environment-friendly in our mining investments. We believe that these investments will not only create jobs and generate foreign currency earnings for our country but that they will also contribute significantly to the well-being of society.

Zorlu Textile, the kernel from which our group has grown, continues to shape the course of home textiles through the products which it creates and the importance that it gives to R&D and design. Textile’s production capacity and its exports to four continents rank the company among Europe’s biggest textile manufacturers.

As one of the engines of the Turkish economy, our group focuses its gaze not just on “success” but on “sustainable success”. Taking this as our point of departure, we place at the heart of all of our business processes a constellation of social, economic, and environmental values which we have defined in collaboration with our stakeholders and which we support as Global Compact (UNGC) signatories. Our involvement in the UNGC initiative is our pledge to abide by its fundamental principles related to human rights, the environment, labor standards, and anti-corruption.

Every member of the Zorlu Group individually and collectively continues to act in compliance with UNGC-prescribed approaches and attitudes. In keeping with this, we take pains to adhere to practices in all of our project and R&D activities to adhere to practices that will minimize the adverse environmental impact of our production. In line with our principle of transparency, we keep our stakeholders informed about our group’s performance through regularly published compliance reports. In addition, we also create value for the community of which we are a part through our social responsibility activities. We conserve resources and energy with an eye on the future both for the sake of sustainable development and in line with our goal of improving the quality of life of future generations.

As the Zorlu Group, we give particular attention to those aspects of corporate governance which will improve management quality, make it possible to deal with crises more easily, and entitle us to confidence and respect in international markets. In line with this, we create value for our country through a management approach which adheres to the essential corporate governance principles of trustworthiness, truthfulness, transparency, accountability, fairness, and responsibility.

We have undertaken a reorganization of Zorlu Holding’s management as a part of our greater attention to institutionalization. From 1 January 2013, Ömer Yüngül, who has demonstrated his abilities through his great successes at Vestel, will begin serving as Zorlu Holding’s CEO. We believe that Mr Yüngül’s contributions will further raise the bar by which Zorlu Holding’s achievements are judged in the national and international arenas and we wish him every success in his new post.

As I write these words, the world finds itself confronted by issues of the utmost gravity. One thing we can say for certain is that the prospects for 2013 are, if anything, even tougher. Another is that I believe that, as the Zorlu Group, we will once again emerge from such difficulties–more successful and even stronger than before–through our faith in our country. And as we do so, we shall continue to create increasingly more value for our country and our society.

Ahmet Zorlu
Chairman of the Board of Directors

© 2014 Zorlu Holding    
Zorlu Holding A.Þ.
Levent 199
Büyükdere Caddesi, No:199
34394 Þiþli / Ýstanbul
Phone: +90 212 456 20 00