We are publishing this article again on the sad occasion of the tragic death of the richest Czech businessman Petr Kellner.
The PPF Group, which is ruled by Petr Kellner, has published its annual report for 2019. After a year, the richest Czech, who has not given an interview for several years, reveals his views on the world, life and business in a regular introductory word. This year, of course, he could not omit the effects of coronavirus, which draws the loss of its global repayment empire Home Credit, but its consequences will not be fully felt until the next annual report.
“During the existence of PPF, there has never been such a big difference between the world that our annual report describes and the world in which it is based. In 2019, the world was still successful, “writes Petr Kellner in the first sentence of his annual greeting.
“It simply came to our notice then before coronavirus arrived. For a person who, like me, loves to create and build, the worst thing is to see decline and destruction. I’ve experienced it and seen it several times. The pandemic showed everyone the relativity of things that we considered essential and unchanging, “continues the man, whose assets we estimate at $ 14.9 billion this year (currently 333 billion crowns), which earned him 68th place among the world’s billionaires.
“As a result, we are all thinking more about what is really important in life. Family, children, health, freedom. Neither PPF nor I are an exception in such thinking. We do not forget where we came from and what we experienced. That is why this year’s photographs in the annual report are inspired by the places and values that shaped us the most in our youth, “Petr Kellner explains the photograph in which he sits by the campfire. It is a fact that years ago, but at a time when he was really rich, he still went to regular summer camps with his children.
The conclusion of his introductory word is as if cut from Forbes. It is a celebration of business, diligence and well-deserved success. “Sometimes I ask myself: Why do I work so much, why am I no longer at ease? An honest answer? First of all, I still enjoy my work. I enjoy thinking and figuring out how to do things better, differently. I enjoy learning and succeeding. I know that there is never one path to the goal, and it fills me to look for the best. And then the most important thing: I feel responsible. For our children, for our companies, for what we have built at PPF in almost thirty years. I would never build PPF alone, without partners, customers, employees. Success is not the result of an individual, but the cooperation of a team, family, loved ones, a group, ”says the richest Czech in conclusion.
Last year, his PPF still earned almost a billion euros net. According to its share in equity, it had the most investments in finance (40 percent), telecommunications (17 percent) and real estate (10 percent). The next annual report will look significantly different in terms of numbers.