Articles
Important Agreement between Google and ICAP Group
ICAP Serbia Foundation
Investments in ICAP Contact Center
New Corporate Website
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January 2009
ICAP's Quarterly
e-Newsletter
49 million euro Revenues and Expansion in new countries signal a Powerful Growth for ICAP Group in 2008
 

ICAP Group companies  realized revenues of €49 million and EBITDA profits of €8,1 million during the economic use which ended on December 31 2008, therefore achieving a robust organic 24% growth in revenues and 31% in EBITDA compared to 2007. Moreover, ICAP Group’s expansion in relation to the previous year exceeds 50% when the revenues produced by acquisitions are included in the growth calculation. 

At the course of 2008, ICAP Group expanded with the foundation of two affiliated companies in Romania and Serbia and with the addition of new Units in the already existing ICAP Bulgaria. Furthermore, ICAP Group acquired a majority shareholding in CYCLE CREDIT, a leading company in Receivables Management in Greece, with presence in 3 Balkan countries. In addition, the Group contracted agreements with Google, for the sale of advertising space (AdWords) in the Greek market and with Hogan for the exclusive representation of Employee Evaluation Systems in Greece, Serbia and Cyprus. ICAP Group also introduced new products and services to the Business Information Business Unit, and completed important consulting projects together with Bain & Co.

Nikitas Konstantellos, ICAP Group’s CEO made the following statement:   “2008 was a very successful year for us, both because we achieved to considerably grow our financial figures and because we added new services and we dynamically expanded to new markets, in Greece and abroad.   At the same time, we consolidated our leading position in Business Information and Credit Risk Management, becoming the first External Credit Assessment Institution (ECAI) in Greece - and one of only four in Europe - to be accredited by the Bank of Greece”.

 
Important Agreement between Google and ICAP Group
 

ICAP Group entered into an important agreement with Google™ to sell Adwords in the Greek market.  Google, the largest search engine in the world and in Greece, offers advertising space in the format of text (Adwords), in relation to the search queries run by the users.

Adwords are an effective way for companies of all sizes to promote their products and services, exactly when the customers are looking for them.  Based on the agreement, ICAP will undertake the sale of Adwords and customer support in the Greek market, on behalf of Google.

The Google operation will be developed within the business practice of ICAP Group’s Directories.  The Business Directories have been published since the its founding in 1964, while recently, ICAP Group invested in the creation of the largest and most valid online directory, www.findbiz.gr.  Findbiz was recently declared the best online directory in Europe, wining the 1st Award from the European Association of Directory Publishers (EADP).

 
ICAP Group: Strong Growth in SE Europe
 

ICAP Group concluded a remarkable yearlong dynamic expansion in the Balkans after the creation of ICAP Serbia in December.  Namely, in 2008 the Group founded new subsidiaries in Romania and Serbia and added new departments to the existing ICAP Bulgaria.

Hence, with a staff of 130 in Romania, 30 in Serbia and 25 in Bulgaria, ICAP Group is able to provide Business Information, Consulting Services, Executive Search and Receivables Management services to local markets.

ICAP Group’s key aim is to offer Greek companies operating in the region services which are basically missing from the local markets. It is interesting to point out that more than 200 senior executives from Greek companies attended the two large events recently organized by ICAP in Bucharest and Sofia, all of whom were pleased to find out that high quality services in vital sectors were now being offered by a successful Greek company- a company that they already know and trust.

 

New bill of law for Receivables Management companies
 

Cycle Credit SA, a subsidiary of the ICAP Group and member of the Hellenic Association of Debt Management Companies (ESEDA), through its Managing Director and President of the Association, Mr. Dimitris Psarakis, supports the government's efforts to impose rules on the operation of sector companies.

In a series of interviews over the last three months, Mr. Psarakis made it clear that the Association’s members are not there to collect but to deal with overdue debts. This means that they do not collect and do not manage money, nor are any of their actions related to the debtor’s assets. Their role consists exclusively of notifying consumers by phone, suggesting ways to settle their debts- as instructed by their clients- and thus teaching debtors to respect their transactional obligations.

The ESEDA, having studied the new bill exhaustively, points out that the specific law does not set sufficient conditions for operation and certification and is not clear enough about the most important part of a receivables management company’s operation- that is, negotiating the settlement of overdue debts with debtors. According to the Association, these aspects need to be reconsidered.

 
Significant Investments in the ICAP Contact Center
 

The ICAP Contact Center, the Business Practice that undertakes inbound and outbound call projects as an outsourcer, has been operating in a new, upgraded technological environment since 1/12/08. More particularly, the new technological environment includes:

• A contact center - Genesys SIP – based on the IP technology and supporting communication via e-mail, sms, fax, and chat
• The advanced, world famous automatic call routing system CTI Genesys
• The new CRM Pastel, developed by ICAP itself especially for the Contact Center
• The call recording solution Verint
• 160 workstations with the ability of handling more than 100,000 calls daily.

Thanks to this important investment, the ICAP Contact Center now boasts one of the most sophisticated call center systems in the Greek market, enabling it to operate more effectively and efficiently and to better monitor quality, all for the benefit of its clients.

 

 
ICAP'S new Corporate Website
 

The ICAP Group’s corporate site, www.icap.gr, was redesigned in order to correspond more to the ICAP Group and the way it is being transformed following the developments of the previous year, such as the addition of new services, the change of outlook and substance in communication, as well as the integration of HR Outsourcing, the Contact Center, and the Cycle Credit companies. The Romanian and Bulgarian sites, www.icap.ro and www.icap.bg respectively, have been developed using the same approach.
 
The rationale behind the new site is to provide a primary level of information so that the user can rapidly grasp the multifaceted character of ICAP and, with 2 or 3 clicks from the homepage, access information, quickly and easily, about each one of our services. The company’s contact details appear on the right side of each page in case the user desires additional information.
 
With its new design, the site has turned into a useful and important communication tool for the whole of the ICAP Group services.

 
ICAP goes Ecological!
 

ICAP Group, within the framework of its Corporate Social Responsibility, organized a voluntary ecological excursion on Sunday, November 2nd to the forest of Vyronas. The aim was to clean up the wooded area and the experience turned out to be a huge success. The employees' families also encouraged this effort, while the participation of children made the activity even more intense and enjoyable.

The Municipality of Vyronas, who supported this initiative, provided the necessary cleaning equipment.

This ecological expedition to Vyronas followed the very successful event that took place during a work day in May in the area of Kakia Thalassa, during which all ICAP personnel cleaned the beach, the river bed and the surrounding hills in collaboration with the Municipality of Keratea.  Contrary to this event, the expedition to Vyronas on the first Sunday of November was voluntary.

 
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