The BTC Company performed very well in the first half of this year as it successfully implemented its new development strategy and the set projects, surpassing its projected goals. The company’s net profit or loss for the accounting period and its net turnover were higher than planned by 12% and 6%, respectively. In the first half of 2022, the company realised investments in the amount of EUR 4.8 million, most of them aimed at the continued development of BTC City.
It has been another successful period of bringing together the best shopping, cuisine, entertainment, and business experiences in our BTC Cities, all in close cooperation with our partners. We are most proud of the fact that our business partners recognise BTC City as the perfect location for their flagship stores. This June, a renovated Intersport flagship store opened its doors in BTC City Ljubljana. With a comprehensive transformation and the implementation of a new sales space concept while following sustainability guidelines, this has put an advanced user experience front and centre. Also worth noting is the opening of the first ILLY Shop in Slovenia (in the Crystal Palace). In BTC City Murska Sobota, we opened a new WOOP! Centre, which added even more excitement to the Murska Sobota shopping centre, making it the IT destination for active leisure aimed at all generations and tastes not only in Murska Sobota but the region at large. Bearing all this in mind, we never lost sight of developing solutions of the future. At the BTC Company we proudly support the Elly POS project, promoting the digitalisation of payment and business operations. In BTC City Ljubljana, this May, we celebrated the deployment of the 1000th Elly POS digital payment terminal in Slovenia. As a result, this modern platform for digital payment with cards and cryptocurrencies is now available at already 1,000 terminals across the country.
Despite the challenging conditions on the market, the BTC Logistics Centre provided business partners with regular delivery of goods to their customers and performed successfully in the given circumstances. An upgrade of the warehouse management IT system and digitalisation of processes are also underway with a view to further strengthening of the company’s position as the leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) logistics provider.
In the field of commercial real estate management, the first half of the year saw us lay the foundations for expanding our cooperation with two of our strategic partners – Spar Slovenija and IKEA. With Spar Slovenija, we are expanding our operations in management and maintenance. We acquired 15 medium-sized shopping centres for management and maintenance.
In the field of corporate social responsibility, we continued to support many sporting disciplines with the aim of strengthening both professional and recreational sports. As a long-time supporter of women’s ski jumping, we sponsored the first ever Silvester Tournament in Ljubno ob Savinji. In June, following two years of limited implementation, we carried out another successful Marathon Franja BTC City, this time in its usual scope. More than 5,000 participants from over 30 countries, thousands of fans along the routes, and more than 2,600 members of the organising team and volunteers once again helped create the most beautiful festival of cycling in Slovenia and beyond. With this year’s edition, the BTC Company marked the 20th year of being the event’s general sponsor. In February, we also built on our more than 20 years of support of Slovenian gymnastics by signing a new sponsorship agreement with the Slovenian Gymnastics Federation, eight of its athletes, and the rhythmic gymnastics clubs KRG TIM and KRG Narodni dom.
Besides all of the above, we never forgot the community and the people in need. For humanitarian aid benefiting the people of Ukraine, we allocated a special donation as part of the fundraising campaign of the Slovenian Red Cross and provided free use of our premises to the Ukrainian charity centre “Chervon Kalyna”, which offers assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
In the field of sustainable development, the BTC Company strengthened its activities for a faster and more efficient green transformation. We started by establishing an interdisciplinary testing environment for sustainability initiatives, called the BTC City Sustainability Lab. This will act as a platform for connecting internal and external stakeholders and combining different competences for a green transformation. We are already actively participating in the latter through European development projects, including Creators and DESIRE. As part of the Creators project, which is partially financed by the Horizon 2020 programme and in which BTC City Ljubljana participates as a pilot site contributing to the creation of advanced energy communities, we hosted a delegation of representatives of the project partners. We are looking forward to the start of the new European project DESIRE, which was selected in a tender to support the development of guidance demonstration projects of the New European Bauhaus initiative – in it, we will look for solutions for green and smart cities, together with the CER partnership for sustainable economy and other partners from four countries besides Slovenia.
In the first half of 2022, the company realised investments in the amount of EUR 4.8 million, with most of the funds going towards building the WOOP! Centre in Murska Sobota, a sustainability upgrade of the facade and the City’s “green islands”, a renovation of the roof and the business premises of Shopping Arena 4 in BTC City Ljubljana, as well as a renovation of the northern part of Shopping Arena 6 in BTC City Ljubljana, including a green facade.
On August 4, 2022, the Board of Directors of the BTC Company adopted a decision on the payment of an interim dividend in the amount of EUR 3.00 gross per share, which was paid on August 17, 2022. The BTC Company continues to successfully implement projects for the year 2022, thereby ensuring the ongoing growth and viability of the company, as well as strengthening its equity units, its shares, to provide shareholders with a suitably high and stable dividend.
Damjan Kralj, M.Sc.
CEO of BTC, d. d.