2020 was a unique year that saw several major events
Vincent Rouaix, CEO Inetum
Firstly, it was a year marked by an unprecedented health crisis that hit all sectors worldwide, and that forced us to adapt our operational mode to minimize the impact of this unparalleled pandemic. It was a pivotal year for the Group, in particular with the major acquisition of IECISA that propelled us into a new era geared towards a growth strategy that was deployed in all our markets.
2020 : Performance, resilience, agility and relevance of our ambition
In addition to strengthening the Group’s positions in Latin America and Iberia, and with large Spanish clients brought to us by IECISA, this transaction has enriched our expertise and expanded our catalogue of solutions in various fields such as SAP integration, digital technology, and sectors like transport, mobility, digital identity, and healthcare. This decisive year was to a great extent also marked by the revealing of our new identity on 1 January 2021, when we officially became Inetum.
A name that resembles us and that reflects our values and our DNA – rooted in the Latin word incrementum that means growth, to serve our ambition of economic as well as human development. An ambition brought to life that embodies our vision of Positive digital flow, an identity that reflects our strategy, and a renewed aspiration to take on a technological environment that is constantly on the move – with AI, IoT, 5G, virtual environments, quantum computing, and more.
The Group has demonstrated the resilience of its business model in the face of an unparalleled health crisis. The crisis engendered by the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the resilience of our business model.
Our priority was to protect and safeguard all our employees for instance by maintaining salaries, communicating our solidarity, and providing psychological help, and to implement a set of measures to meet the needs and expectations of our clients – ensuring service continuity for all of them by resorting to telework, and by keeping a physical presence on our and our clients’ premises down to the minimum.
As a company that puts an emphasis on its social responsibility, we once again rose to the occasion for example by mobilizing our expertise and Botfoundry technology to roll out a chatbot that provides the public with information on the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud also of helping in the fight against the virus through our solutions deployed for instance in public hospitals, private research laboratories, and emergency call management systems. These demonstrate our capacity to respond together, as a Group, to our clients’ expectations through our creativity and ingeniousness to find adequate solutions and – as always – to make a difference.
Thanks to the solidity of our model, the commitment of our employees, and the ongoing trust of our clients and shareholder, we are convinced that we shall emerge from these unprecedented times, strengthened by the lessons we have learnt from it.
And finally, despite these circumstances and unfavourable macroeconomic factors, 2020 was a year of increased revenue for the Group (+21.6%), due mainly to the IECISA acquisition in 2020 and a maintained margin (EBIT of 6.3% in 2019 compared to 6.2% in 2020). It is worth noting too that the dire situation did not prevent us from recruiting more than 4,600 talented new people.
At year end 2020, the Group counted over 22,300 employees in 26 countries. 2020 also saw the closure of our BOOST2020 plan, affirming our worldwide positioning which represents nearly 60% of our turnover. The Group has in fact consolidated its presence with European companies in many sectors and now has a solid midcap portfolio that accounts for a quarter of our turnover.
Though the health crisis prevented us from reaching our margin growth targets, the BOOST2020 plan nevertheless stabilized our operating margin and laid the foundations for our new strategic plan.
2021 is therefore the first year of our UPSCALE 2023 plan, which will continue the actions undertaken with BOOST2020 and thus allow the Group to confirm its position as a key player in digital transformation.
We see that the measures taken in 2020 will also enable the Group to benefit from the recovery observed in the last quarter, and from the acceleration of Digital Flow in all the sectors and countries in which we operate. In the course of 2021, we shall strengthen our expertise and consolidate our scope to reach a critical size in all our markets.
This capacity for continuous transformation that we intend to share with our clients is illustrated by various notable achievements. In June 2020, we were the first IT services company to obtain the Afaq Innovative Enterprise label from Afnor. Likewise, our action in the industry has contributed to the development of Axelle, the first concept machine to bring the Industry 4.0 model to life. A strategic development line at the dawn of reindustrialization in the western world.
I want to thank all of the Group’s employees for their mobilization and relentless commitment amidst a critical healthcare situation, in line with the values we proclaim in our Group – a spirit of solidarity, goodwill, excellence and commitment. More than ever we are determined – with our people and for our clients – to build a culture of digital flow.