As 2020 draws to a close I want to take the opportunity to look back on a year that turned out much differently than anyone could have imagined. While it was certainly challenging in many ways, it also showed how strong we are as a company – even in the toughest of times.
We can take pride in the fact that when the pandemic brought the world to a halt and forced us to keep our distance from family, friends and one another, the work we do helped people to stay connected and made the difficult times hopefully a little easier.
It was no easy task managing both the safety of our employees and the increased use of our networks and platforms, all the while continuing to provide a superior customer experience and great content. Millions of people across our markets depend on our channels and portals, both to stay informed and as the main source of entertainment for all members of the household.
The reliability of the service we provide and the quality of the content we offer defines us. We rose to the challenge. Our networks and platforms passed the test, and we proved as an organization to be both robust and extremely flexible in the face of change.
In addition, we donated more than USD 3.1 million to the region in medical equipment and cash to support efforts to overcome one of the largest global health crises the world has ever seen.
I’m proud to say that while 2020 might have slowed us down, it certainly didn’t stop us. We completed three major acquisitions, welcoming new colleagues from VIVACOM, Telemach Hrvatska and Forthnet to the group and doubling its size.
We also launched our e-commerce business Shoppster, helping to meet increased demand for shopping from home, and were recognized for being the owner of what is both the fastest mobile network in Europe and one of the fastest in the world.
These and so many other successes were achieved in a time when we were forced to adapt to very adverse circumstances.
I too miss the energy of being in a room together with a group of colleagues and having the opportunity to share with them and learn from each other. The reality is that it will probably take a little while longer before this is possible again. However, you’ve all shown what we can achieve when we work and think as a team, even when we can’t be together physically.
So, I want to thank you all for the hard work and commitment you’ve shown over the past year. Our combined strength is what makes us successful as a company.
I hope that when you’re celebrating the holidays with friends and family that you look back on the year with the same sense of accomplishment that we all should feel.
I wish you and your families all a happy holiday season.
Chief Executive Officer