We forecast reasonable growth for the next decade.
We would like to thank our subsidiaries’ staff and management teams for their commitment, professionalism, reactivity and discernment in an environment where each unforeseen event has to be converted into an opportunity.
Our export activities with Syveco, Sodeco, FGinox and Ets Édouard Rousseau accounted for 19.2% of our 2019 turnover. We pursue our efforts to reduce the risks of our high exposure to domestic markets.
The onboarding of Ets Édouard Rousseau, acquired on 31/12/2018, continues with the appointment of Laure Empereur as CEO on January 1, 2020. We have recently welcomed the Distrilabo team from Alsace, and look forward with enthusiasm to working together, ready to roll out our commercial synergies. Finally, we expect to complete the acquisition of Thermacome before the end of the first semester. The company reported turnover of €20.2m in 2018. This transaction would round off a series of acquisitions begun in 2015, and would herald the onset of a two-year period dedicated to synergies and operational efficiencies. However, we do remain open to further acquisition operations that neither exceed €5m nor take up too much time.
Our trading profit progressed 8.6% (8.2% to constant scope), curbed by an unfavourable euro-dollar exchange rate during the first half of the year. We also note the sale of the French side of the Sodeco business, which had exceptionally generated €525,000 in 2018. The lower tax rate improves still further our net profit, to €32.4m.
Our teams increased their efforts to improve stock rotation, resulting in a drop of 22 inventory days (purchases consumed). On December 31, 2019, our net cash position was €32.3m, our bank debt €41.7m, and our equity situation €203.2m after appropriation of net income. This low level of debt allows us to look ahead with equanimity.
Our excellent commercial results in 2019 will clearly not be repeated in 2020 because of the very beneficial effects of the Tax Credit for Energy Transition on some of our business areas. This tax incentive will be notably reduced in 2020, which will obviously have a substantial impact on our subsidiaries Thermador and Isocel. Ready to face up to unforeseen events linked to our business fields, we forecast reasonable growth over the next decade overall. We provide more detail on this objectives and strategy on page 10 of this document.
2019 was marked by a drop in trading volumes for Midcaps in general and for Thermador Groupe in particular. In spite of that, we were able to re-classify a block of 5.4% of our capital in the space of two hours (cf. our press release of October 9th 2019). At the time of our most recent TPI (identifiable bearer share) in December 2019, institutional investors held 47% of the group’s capital and private shareholders 34%. Faithful to our distribution policy and in keeping with the long-term evolution of our results, we are offering a dividend of €1.80, up 2.9%.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held in Lyon on April 6 at 5pm at Hôtel Dieu. We count on your attendance or votes to exceed the 70% participation threshold, a symbolic indicator illustrating the vitality of this democratic body. We are also organising an information meeting in Paris on April 21 at 4pm at Salons Hoche.