Dear shareholders, dear friends, dear colleagues,
The results of the past years unequivocally confirmed our strategic commitment, and with the success we achieved we deserved the epithet of the fastest growing bank. We have achieved this with dedicated work, well-defined strategy and by focusing on our goals.
So this year we are entering with great enthusiasm fueled by what we have achieved and the expectations are that 2020 will confirm everything we have been pushing for - greater results, satisfied shareholders and happy customers.
The real impetus comes from the fact that in 2019 we again achieved a record profit of 11.4 million euros. We saw an increase in assets by more than 10%, increased market share in lending, and the same upward trend was registered in deposits.
In the past year we have created more new products and services in the area of lending and deposits. In order to become more accessible, we have systematically increased and expanded our business network to reach 42 branches, and in parallel the number of employees increased to 572. The number of ATMs has increased to 133 and the network of POS terminals has increased above 7000.
The past year has shown that the banking sector of North Macedonia is sound and well capitalized. According to forecasts by the National Bank, deposit growth will be 8.5 percent, while credit growth is expected to be around 8 percent. That is the wind in our backs for all the banks we work in this market.
With these motives, next year we will move towards new record results.
We are dedicated to providing quality banking services to our citizens and to assure them of our intentions. We do all this by adhering to the values underlying our bank. With all the steps we have taken in the past year, the new products we have put on the market, as well as corporate responsibility activities we have shown that our focus is on people, that every activity and step taken by the bank is defined and predetermined by the need of the citizens, their requirements and their necessities.
One of the characteristics of Halkbank that has earned us the title bank - leader is the tendency to introduce technological change and reap the benefits of digitization.
Thus, the slogan "people are important" as a subliminal message of Halkbank for all business activities or corporate strategy, remains relevant for the period to come. For Halkbank, people will always matter, the people of the Bank, our employees, our shareholders and our customers, because we are a bank focused on real values.