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Letter from the Chairwoman

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Dear friends,

For yet another year, I am writing to provide some thoughts about how our business is performing. 2017 was a very complex year due to the number of projects we undertook, so I invite you to read our business and sustainability report in which you will find details of everything that took place last year.

During 2017, we made progress in terms of our good corporate governance and transparency obligations that aim to protect the interests of all of our interest groups, adapting ourselves to the demands of the Spanish Capital Companies Law and following all of the Good Corporate Governance recommendations of the Spanish Stock Market Commission. On a daily basis, the Board of Directors is focused on creating and spreading among employees a professional and ethical culture in which the company´s values are aligned with employees’ actions. Our Code of Ethics (which also encompasses franchisees and suppliers) and our anti-fraud programme (which is already implemented in all the territories in which we operate) serve as a guide to ensure that DIA´s activities are carried out within a framework of respect and responsibility.

In 2017, we also felt the need to review and adapt our mission and vision with the aim of thinking more accurately about the company´s core purpose, its essence, as well as the pursuit of our objectives for the coming years. As part of our thinking, we have considered our values, strengths, strategic pillars, and our big initiatives, in order to show DIA´s public commitment to its customers, employees, franchisees, shareholders, and suppliers. We can be proud of this commitment, which we are all responsible for.

We are aware that corporate responsibility is not merely a concept; it is more of a lever with which to guarantee active listening within the business context in which we operate, allowing us to take decisions that allow us to continue to create value. Accordingly, we approached 2017 with a view to reflect on and analyse the best way to work to reach this objective, and how to involve the entire company in this process. The analysis of which non-financial aspects are key to continue to create this value and how to quantify the company´s performance in this respect are examples of this internal review process that we started in 2017 and which will be completed during 2018.

In turn, I believe that integrating the activity report and the sustainability report into a single report, the Business and Sustainability Report, is a good illustration of this effort to portray corporate responsibility as a key transversal pillar of the business, and not as a separate function.

Upon reading this report, the reader will discover the importance and transversal nature of all our projects. One example is digitalisation, which has reached our employees and customers alike, without forgetting how the company´s operations are being transformed by digitalisation.

I want to make a particular mention here, with special fondness, of the progress we have made in terms of social partnerships and support for important causes such as gender equality. In 2017, we launched a new project with the Spanish Basketball Federation which has led us to become the sponsor of the professional women´s basketball league, the Liga Dia. Behind this support is our wish to ensure that this competition achieves a following and level of visibility equivalent to that of the male basketball league, and which is also based on the success of the female players and technical team of the women´s basketball team. I want to congratulate you on your professionalism, good example, and performance. There is still much to be done, but we have undoubtedly made good progress.

Through this sport, we also promote healthy habits among more than 2,000 children from various Autonomous Communities in Spain, and we also include the elderly, as leading a healthy life and sharing team values is something that is not age-related.

We have also made progress with other projects that are mainly related to healthy childhood development and improving the quality of life for people with difficulties. By way of example, I mention here our partnership with the Red Cross and Save the Children in Spain, the campaigns to support children at risk of being excluded in Argentina, and the Futebol de la Rúa in Portugal, among other initiatives.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the participation of all of our interest groups. I extend my thanks to each and every one of the company’s more than 42,000 employees, as well as all of our entrepreneurs, franchisees, suppliers, customers, and all the third parties that help us to become better. And of course, I want to thank you, our shareholders, because we can only continue to evolve with your trust and support.

Ana María Llopis Rivas
Non-executive Chairwoman


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