In the first half of 2021, the BTC company performed very well, especially considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated closure of the majority of cafés, bars and restaurants. The company’s net income surpassed the projected one by EUR 800,000. Logistics performed better than expected, and good results were also achieved leasing commercial real estate.
The company managed to attract new, renowned brands to BTC City. In early June, BTC City Ljubljana saw the renovation of the Big Bang shop and the opening of Extreme Vital, a new sporting goods shop. The premises of the UniCredit Bank, which had its lease extended, were renovated and expanded. An office space lease agreement was concluded with the Swedish IT corporation tretton37 and with the new sports and entertainment centre WOOP! ARENA the company further bolstered its excellent entertainment programme, which attracts the majority of young visitors to the area. Together with its business partner Spar Slovenija, the BTC company also started a thorough renovation of the grocery store Megamarket Interspar in BTC City Murska Sobota this spring, which included a refurbishment of the facade and exterior signboards in the BTC City Murska Sobota shopping centre. The total investment amounted to over five million euros. The measures aimed at curbing the spread of the new coronavirus had the greatest impact on the performance of Atlantis Water Park, which stayed closed for the first five months of 2021.
In partnership with the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, SPIRIT Slovenia, the Business Development Agency, and DIH Slovenia (the Digital Innovation Hub of Slovenia), the BTC company established the Slovenian Digital Center – Technology for the People, located in BTC City Ljubljana. During Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021, this Center is to be the nexus of development, progress, and the presentation of new technologies and development-focused Slovenian businesses. The Slovenian Digital Center brings together progressive Slovenian companies, institutions and individuals. It brings new technologies closer to the general public and provides training programmes aimed at educating different target groups on the use of new technologies. The Slovenian Digital Center, the first of its kind in Slovenia, presents Slovenian know-how and development to the international business community and state representatives visiting Slovenia during its Presidency.
This year, social responsibility, a development-focused vision and continuous upgrades of the BTC company’s innovation ecosystem resulted in the development of the new mobile app Magda. Magda is the first mobile app for seniors in Slovenia, developed in partnership between the BTC company and the social enterprise Simbioza Genesis. The Magda app is unique in that it was developed specifically with seniors and their needs in mind, striving for ongoing education and the inclusion of seniors in an increasingly digital social world. By combining social responsibility with a development-focused stance, we helped over 10,000 seniors obtain relevant information, contacts and new digital skills during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping them to maintain their social connections and remain included in the society at large, which made their everyday lives easier.
In the first half of 2021, the BTC company realised investments in the amount of EUR 2.5 million, a part of which was the acquisition of land for the expansion of BTC City Murska Sobota and the renovation of business premises in the BTC City shopping centre in Ljubljana.
During this period, the company also adopted the development strategy titled “The BTC company 5.0: Quality of life as inspiration for a multidimensional development of the BTC company 2021–2025.” The strategy reflects the company’s goal to perform well and grow in the future as a consequence of seeking new market opportunities and strengthening strategic partnerships with long-term business partners. The goal of the strategy is to secure continuous growth and viability of the company, as well as to strengthen its equity units – its shares – in order to provide shareholders with a suitably high and stable dividend. In addition to business results, the strategy also focuses on sustainability in the fields of energy, mobility and social responsibility. Special emphasis falls on the further development and improvement of the “green city”. The strategy also devotes attention to continued digitalisation and the application of new technologies in payment systems and logistics. With its new strategy, the BTC company is ready for future challenges.
In November 2021, the BTC company will present itself at the largest business event in history, the Expo2020 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Dubai will host 82 national pavilions on a surface area of 440 hectares, and the organisers are expecting as many as 25 million visitors. The Slovenian pavilion, which will also feature the BTC company, will be positioned in the sustainability segment of Expo2020, which further reflects the strategic orientation of the BTC company and its goal to make new connections in order to strengthen synergies with the international business environment.
Damjan Kralj, M.Sc.
CEO of BTC d. d.