Otokar, a Koç Group company, announced its 2018 financial results. Otokar General Manager Serdar Görgüç stated that the company left behind a much more challenging year compared to 2016 and 2017, "We closed 2018 with a turnover of TL 1.679 billion. As we take bold steps toward becoming a global player, we doubled our export figures year on year. We posted TL 164 million in net profit, up 65 percent."
Otokar, Turkey's leading automotive and defence industry company that operates in more than 60 countries across five continents with products with owned intellectual property rights, disclosed its 2018 financial results. General Manager Serdar Görgüç explained that Otokar continued working toward its goal of becoming a global brand in 2018 despite the tightening in the domestic market, "In domestic market, the previous three years' tightening trend in the segments in which we have operate continued in 2018 as well. The turmoil seen in the financial markets this year and the cash shortage that followed had a negative impact on the domestic market. As a result of these developments, Otokar closed 2018 with a turnover of TL 1.679 billion, down six percent. Still, we reached our targets in 2018 and posted TL 164 million in net profit, up 65 percent, thanks to the plans we made by anticipating these developments and taking timely measures."
Görgüç pointed out that Otokar focused more on exports in 2018 due to the uncertainties and tightening in the domestic market and took positive steps in both commercial and military segments, "In 2018, we concentrated more on exports. With our R&D, engineering capability, skilled human resource and strong sales network, we increased exports by 99 percent and reached 211 million USD in export revenues. The share of exports in turnover rose from 31 percent to 65 percent year on year. The contribution of our subsidiaries and affiliates abroad and the increase in our export sales had a positive impact on our profitability."
Serdar Görgüç underlined the effect of major export deals on the success that Otokar capture in exports:
"Two export deals, which we started to deliver last year and will continue to deliver in 2019, made their mark on our 2018 performance. The first is the agreement with the UAE Armed Forces to supply armoured vehicles. The second was winning the bus contract of the Bucharest Municipality. For the contract that includes delivery of 400 buses and provision of aftersales services for these buses for eight years, and also happens to be the largest export deal for a single item by a Turkish bus brand, we established a company in Romania. Once the deliveries are completed, Bucharest will become the next metropolis with the largest Otokar fleet after Istanbul."
"MILLIONS OF PASSENGERS IN OVER 50 COUNTRIES TRAVEL WITH OTOKAR COMFORT "
Noting that for over 55 years, Otokar has been developing solutions with its own technology, design and applications and tailoring them to the needs of its customers, and continues to reinforce its position in Europe thanks to the comfort, technology and low operating costs of its vehicles, Görgüç said, "Today, Otokar buses serve in more than 50 countries including Spain, Serbia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. By focusing on exports, last year we also delivered buses to Germany, France, Poland, Jordan and Tunisia, in addition to Bucharest, Romania. This year, 34 Vectio buses are started to be used in Poland in the public transportation services of the Warsaw Municipality. After winning the contract for 100 buses by the City of Amman, capital of Jordan, we received an additional order for 35 units. We will deliver these 35 buses to the City of Amman this spring. We also exported the first Kent CNG buses this year to Spain. European users appreciate not only our city buses but also our buses for tourism transportation. Ulyso T, already sold in Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Sweden, was also introduced to the German market this year."
ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE BUSES SOLD IN TURKEY IS OTOKAR
Serdar Görgüç also shared some details about Otokar's sales in the Turkish market: "In 2018, total bus market shrank by 29 percent and completed the year with 3,800 units sold. In the small and medium-sized bus market, this shrinkage was 23 percent, while in the inner city bus market of 12 meters and longer buses, this rate was recorded as 50 percent. In the passenger transportation segment, for which Otokar has been designing and developing public transportation, personnel shuttle and tourism transportation buses for over 55 years, Otokar met all expectations with a wide product range, solutions tailored to customer requirements and aftersales services. In 2018, one of every three buses sold in Turkey was Otokar branded in the total of segments we operate."
Görgüç added that they are proud to be the leader of the bus segments in which they operate for the tenth time, "Our city bus deliveries continued across the country, from Mardin and Izmir to Tekirdağ and Antakya. We continued our product development activities seamlessly as we carefully listened to the transportation sector and anticipated changing needs. The positive response to the vehicles we updated last year and the revival expected in the tourism sector in the second half of the year had a positive impact on our sales."
WE WILL FOCUS ON EXPORTS TO BECOME A GLOBAL BRAND
Serdar Görgüç added that Otokar started 2019 with new and important targets, "This year, we aim to continue being the highly preferred brand of the industry in public and tourism transportation with buses that meet customer expectations. Our goal is to maintain our leadership in the Turkish bus market. Furthermore, in 2019, we will continue to take firm and confident steps toward becoming a global brand by focusing even more on exports. We will continue to deliver the orders we received and strive to increase our presence in target markets with vehicles developed specifically for exports. By interpreting the expectations and needs of our customers accurately, we aim to keep up with the rapid changes in technology, benefit from the opportunities offered by digital technologies, manufacture value-added products and provide services in the most effective manner."