DelfinGroup prepares the first Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance or ESG report
The Latvian financial service company AS DelfinGroup, in preparation for the initial public offering (IPO), as one of the few Latvian companies, has prepared the first Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) report for 2020. The report is created using the guidelines developed for the ESG reports of the Nordic and Baltic Nasdaq exchanges.
In the Latvian Financial Sector Development Plan 2021-2023 it is noted that in the Nordic countries, information on ESG objectives covering a wide range of environmental, social and governance issues, is currently provided by around 430 companies. While in the Baltic states only a few companies carry out the assessment of sustainable corporate governance.
Ivars Lamberts, Member of the Management Board of AS DelfinGroup: “Both society as a whole and the business environment are increasingly aware that environmental, social and governance issues are as important as the analysis of current financial data when assessing a company's long-term success. Therefore, when launching the IPO on the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange, we implement the highest standards and requirements set by the investors and regulatory authorities for companies in the financial sector. The ESG report provides everyone with an in-depth insight not only into the company's financial data, but also into the company's internal processes, management principles, development philosophy and long-term vision. It is no secret that the European Union has made the promotion of climate-neutral, resource-efficient and socially equitable investments one of its central sustainability goals both in the public and private sectors. Therefore, for companies and investors working in Europe, ESG issues and the mitigation of related risks will continue to be a factor when making business development decisions.”
An essential goal of AS DelfinGroup business development is to combine green thinking and economic benefits. The company is actively developing its branch network and creating an infrastructure so that for people throughout Latvia it would be comfortable selling and buying pre-owned and tested goods. In this way, goods gain a second life and people have the opportunity to buy the things they need in a more convenient way. The Banknote pawn shop network has become one of the leading pre-owned and tested goods sales channels in Latvia, helping people all over the country to exchange things that they no longer need. In turn, the Banknote online store has become one of the fastest growing pre-owned goods sales channels in Latvia. Re-use of goods is a very effective way of reducing unnecessary consumption and overexploitation of natural resources, as well as helping people to save and manage their financial resources more efficiently.
The European Commission has adopted a new action plan for the circular economy, which is one of the key cornerstones of Europe's green course. It focuses on creating a circular economy and transforming production to ensure that the resources used are maintained in the economies of the European Union for as long as possible. The aim is both to reduce the amount of waste and to extend the useful life of products.
DelfinGroup aims to offer more accessible and inclusive financial services in the field of consumer lending. This is particularly important for people in regions where modern financial solutions are less accessible, as well as for vulnerable groups such as the elderly. In many regions, banking services and ATMs are not available on site. Consequently, the availability of alternative financial solutions is becoming an important issue for an increasingly significant part of people in Latvia. DelfinGroup, in cooperation with the Association of Senior Communities in Latvia, organises IT and financial skills seminars for seniors to help older people acquire modern digital skills. At present, more than half of the customers are experienced, aged 30-63, while 33% are customers in the age group over 64 and they also have more favourable conditions for loans specifically tailored to people at retirement age. DelfinGroup issues an average of 26 thousand loans per month, of which 75% do not exceed 100 euros. This shows that there is a very high demand in Latvia for small short-term loans that are not available from other financial service providers.
DelfinGroup also regularly invests in further education of its employees, including the establishment of the DelfinGroup Academy to supplement the knowledge of its employees. 99% of the company's employees are full-time employees, 60% of employees are older than 30 years old. 52% of the company's employees are men, but 48% are women. The company has relatively better indicators of the gender pay gap than in Latvia and the industry as a whole. The gender pay gap in DelfinGroup was only 16%. The information compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau shows that in Latvia as a whole the gender pay gap is 19%, but in the financial and insurance sectors it reaches as high as 26%.
The ESG report shows that DelfinGroup pays great attention to improving the well-being of employees and the working environment. The average length of service for employees in the company has increased from 4.67 years to 5.32 years over the last three years. In 2020, employee satisfaction with the work environment increased significantly (from 56% in 2019 to 87% in 2020), communication and cooperation with colleagues significantly improved (from 61% to 89%), as well as information exchange and internal communication improved (from 56% to 83%).
DelfinGroup is one of the few Latvian private sector companies that organised an international competition for the election of independent and professional supervisory board members. In March 2021, at the shareholders meeting the new members of the supervisory board for five years were approved - financial, corporate governance and fintech experts Gatis Kokins, Dr Edgars Voļskis, Mārtiņš Bičevskis and Jānis Pizičs. Agris Evertovskis, Chairman of the Supervisory board, also continues to be a member in the Supervisory board.
On March this year, AS DelfinGroup announced its intention to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares on the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange in the second half of 2021.
AS DelfinGroup is a licensed financial service company founded in 2009 and represents the brands Banknote, VIZIA, and Rīgas pilsētas lombards (Riga City Pawnshop). The company employs 277 professionals in 92 branches operating in 38 Latvian cities. DelfinGroup is a member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Latvian Association of Alternative Financial Services, and has received the Gold Level status of the State Revenue Service cooperation programme. DelfinGroup core services are the sale of pre-owned goods in branches and on the internet, a pawn loan, a consumer loan, as well as a loan specifically designed for people at retirement age. DelfinGroup bonds are listed on the Nasdaq Riga First North bond list. In 2020, the company's revenue was 23.7 million euros, the loan portfolio reached 34.7 million euros, EBITDA increased to 9.3 million euros and profit before taxes reached 4.6 million euros. DelfinGroup estimated taxes for 2020 are 3.42 million euros.
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