I want to thank you all for your trust in our company. We look back on a successful and eventful year in 2013. In terms of financial results, we achieved again a record year and our global network continued to grow in the desirable regions of the world. I would like to share with you a series of outstanding highlights of Engel & Völkers over the past 12 months.
A very important milestone and a highlight of 2013 is our Metropolitan Market Center (MMC) concept, which has been successfully established. The MMCs enable us to gain a foothold in key international property markets around the globe at high speed. We opened our first MMC in Barcelona in spring. In October, we officially established our MMC in the capital of Columbia, Bogotá. The MMC concept has also been realised in a slightly different form on Malta.
Our further expansion plans for 2014 will focus on countries including the USA, Spain, Italy and France. At the moment E&V has over 500 residential property shops and 49 commercial offices operating in 38 countries on five continents.
With the new digital orientation, E&V celebrated one of the largest quantum leaps of the company in the year 2013. Within the scope of the introduction of a new website, E&V received not only a new face on the internet, but also established itself strongly in the field of social media.
Since the beginning of October, GG now also has its own website. For the past quarter of a century now, the print edition of GG magazine has been featuring exclusive homes, as well as a host of subjects about architecture, design, art, travel and fascinating personalities.
Another highlight of the year that gives me particular pleasure involved the development of the game of polo, which – as you all know – is a great passion of mine. Interest in the sport has continued to grow over recent years. I would like to pay special mention to our annual event, the E&V Polo Cup, held at my finca on Majorca. We received more than 1,000 guests in 2013, and an incredible response from the media. It therefore seems like a logical and natural step for E&V to intensify its efforts to promote this sport.
The positive development of the company overall is based to a large extent on the hard work of our employees. I would like to express my deep gratitude to all employees of E&V for their sterling efforts and unwavering commitment!
When I think forward towards the ongoing development of E&V and the year 2014 I am filled with confidence. All the prerequisites for success are securely in place.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Christian Völkers CEO of Engel & Völkers AG