Letter to Shareholders
2019 has been a very positive year for Reply: Our sales have exceeded 1,180 million Euros, with net profit growing by more than 14% over the figures obtained at the end of 2018.
Reply's key strength is its ability to interpret digital innovation, making it functional to the needs of companies. 2019 in particular, was characterised by the important development of all our main product and service lines: Cloud, IoT and related products, data platforms and digital experience platforms. Over these 12 months, we have also witnessed an exponential growth in the demand for new applications related to the use of artificial intelligence, an area in which Reply has long shown a continued commitment and in which it has acquired a leadership position.
In 2019, our Group has become an important point of reference, not only in the technological field, but also in the main processes of change that all companies have introduced in order to be able to face increasingly global and interconnected contexts. The rapid evolution of digital technologies is, in fact, driving the emergence of new markets and competition models, in turn triggering a profound transformation in all industrial and service sectors. These profound changes are made possible, and often accelerated, by the increasing diffusion of new technological paradigms such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, towards which the entire world economy is moving.
However, we are only at the beginning of a very long journey, and the implications of what can be referred to as the industrial revolution of the 21st century appear to be extremely profound, even and especially in our sector.
Innovation will increasingly stem from the fusion between business and technology which does not readily fit traditional models. Soon, our daily lives will be increasingly made up of more intelligent machines and systems. We will live in ecosystems based on collaboration between humans and robots and immersed in a new reality, a synthesis of the internet, connected objects, artificial intelligence and virtual environments. It is precisely on these grounds that Reply is moving forward.
Reply's mission has always been to interpret new technologies and make them functional to the needs of its customers, as quickly as possible. Based on this principle, we have built a Group made up of highly specialised companies, capable of supporting organisations in a transformation path which, starting from technology, redefines the business models and the underlying competitive levers.
This ability to keep up with innovation is the result of a continuous commitment to the search for the very best people to include in our Group, for synergistic relationships with leading universities, as well as continuous investments in the evolution of our skills, both process-related and technological.
Today we are experiencing a situation heavily influenced by the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, causing upheavals in business operations, as well as sudden changes in people's everyday lives. The overall impact of this pandemic is not yet known, and the coming months will present us with unforeseen challenges. We will have to meet these challenges in a different way from what we are used to, but always with a great sense of responsibility, balance and responsiveness.
Reply is well-equipped to react to these new circumstances: our systems are in the cloud and we have advanced individual productivity tools that have allowed us to instantly reconfigure all our activities into "smart-working" mode. This guarantees the safety of our people as well as the continuity of our services.
Our financial strength also allows us to face with confidence the inevitable difficulties that the coming months will present.
We have days of great work ahead of us, in which team spirit, continuous ability to innovate and meticulous attention to our customers will be more important than ever.
Chairman of the Board