We need freedom to shape our future; we need profit to remain free.
Mars is one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations. This private ownership is a deliberate choice. Many other companies began as Mars did, but as they grew larger and required new sources of funds, they sold stocks or incurred restrictive debt to fuel their business. To extend their growth, they exchanged a portion of their freedom. We believe growth and prosperity can be achieved another way.
The Role of Profit
The freedom of Mars depends on the creation of profit. Because Mars is profitable and generates cash, we need not borrow money to the extent that we might lose control over our affairs. As long as Mars remains free, our well-being can always come before any other financial priority.
Every Associate’s commitment to Mars must be the same as the family’s commitment: to see our principles work for everyone’s benefit inside and outside our business. To this end, a substantial portion of operating profits is reinvested each year. This profit then provides the cash with which we can build and upgrade plants, enter new markets, invest in R&D, innovate and implement new ways of doing things, acquire new businesses and create strategic alliances, all to maintain our competitive position.
If Mars continues to create sufficient profits, we will be free to operate the business in the way we regard as best. As Mars grows, we weigh decisions about our diversification with great care, wanting to enter only those businesses and markets where we may excel.
Private ownership allows Mars to remain free. The nature of freedom demands that it be used responsibly by Associates and units alike. Our way of doing business allows us to remain free as a company and gives Associates as individuals the freedom to innovate, act and grow while achieving our common goals. This creates the kind of environment in which we are all excited to work. Our private ownership, unanimity of purpose and high ethical standards allow us to move quickly in exploring new ground, act boldly in the face of competition, and take risks wherever they are justified. Above all, our private ownership gives us the freedom to take a long-term perspective on making investments, building businesses and providing for the well-being of our Associates. This spirit has driven Mars in the past. It remains for each of us to make it the guiding force for our future.