2013 was a good year for DIA in every aspect. Above all I would like to highlight the integration of Schlecker and its teams and the launch of the Clarel chain and the new Bonté brand, which complement our food retailing strategy by offering health & beauty products in a neighbourhood store format.
From the corporate governance standpoint, the progress made on approving and rolling out our social responsibility policies and corruption prevention plan and our efforts to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment demonstrate the lengths to which DIA is going to enhance its organisational structure and impact on society.
The Board of Directors continued to seek out the most stringent governance standards in 2013. Our governance model is designed to accommodate the needs of an international company, guarantee sustainable management and comply with best practice in the global arena.
DIA was included in Deloitte’s Global Powers of Retailing report for the first time. This ranking comprises the 250 most important sector players. DIA ranks 75th on this list. While tremendously proud of this placement, it also implies a duty to continuing to do better.
Underpinned by the company’s dual objective of contributing to social wellbeing and minimising the impact of its business on the environment, on 6 May 2013, DIA’s Board of Directors approved the eight principles articulating its corporate social responsibility policy. This policy is designed as a roadmap that will shape the company’s initiatives in terms of corporate governance, sustainability, resources and employees going forward.
The professional and personal development of each and every person working at DIA is a top priority. To this end, last year we conducted our first employee satisfaction survey; it yielded very encouraging results which we plan to build on in the years to come. The survey revealed that nearly 90% of DIA’s employees share the company’s values and over 70% have faith in the group’s business strategy. Notably, some 93% of our employees are regular consumers of DIA-branded products.
DIA advanced in its efforts to combat fraud and corruption, one of the targets it had set for itself last year. Delivering on one of the three sustainability targets laid down, the company drafted an anti-fraud plan which is already in effect in Spain. Work has begun in 2014 on implementing the plan in Portugal and the idea is to roll it out to our other operating markets in the near future.
The DIA Group is working hard to reduce its environmental impact by continually fine-tuning all of its processes. By way of example, on the energy-saving front, we cut our electricity consumption by 6% this year.
DIA’s community commitment, articulated around food and childhood, led us to hit a new food donation record last year, delivering over three million kilos to food banks, 185% more than in 2012. In Spain alone, through the federation of food banks, these donations touched the lives of 88,000 people a day, 80% of which children and teenagers.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teams and franchisees for their hard work and dedication. Their daily efforts contribute to our results. They have committed to our values and strategic targets and are ready to try out new things in every aspect of our ever-shifting environment. Once again this year they have come together to successfully deliver the challenging business development targets demanded by this big and exciting endeavour called DIA.
To them, to our more than 45 million customers, to our shareholders and suppliers and to all the people that in one way or another form part of DIA’s business operations in Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, France and Portugal, THANK-YOU. Thanks. You all make a difference, form part of and celebrate, year after year, the success story being written by our grand international group.
Ana María Llopis