In 2018, Centric reaped the benefits of the strategy the IT company launched in 2015: focus on its core activities, transition to the cloud, and work towards more intensive international collaboration. This has resulted in the company being awarded attractive projects and landing new clients at home and abroad.
We once again took major steps in the transition to the cloud in 2018, and we are confident about the future. The year 2018 closed with sales totalling 490 million euros, a nearly 5 percent rise on the figure for 2017. The results of operational activities climbed by 10 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. EBIT was down in 2018 as a result of several extraordinary income entries in 2017, coming in at 24 million euros (2017: 27.5 million euros). The solvency ratio of 59 percent underscores the company's financial stability.
Expanding activities within the focus area
In 2018, we further expanded our position in the retail, financial and public sectors in line with our strategy. Strengthening our position is key to our future. Centric continuously invests, at its own expense and risk, in developing and innovating products and services for clients in these markets, and to turn a profit on this investment, we need to have sufficient market share and growth potential. This was also the reason why, early in 2019, we transferred our software solutions for housing associations to a party that does have the housing sector as its core market.
Services with more added value
In the area of infrastructure, we have brought our clients along with us to new propositions, moving from staffing to managed services, from reselling and implementation partner for hardware to provider of cloud solutions. These are services where Centric offers even more added value. An important step in this transition was the sale of our reseller activities. As a result of this development, the share of recurring business has increased further, and recurring business is a keystone for the continuity that Centric clients and staff have come to expect.
Centric focuses internationally on the expansion of activities in the retail sector, staffing services, and IT outsourcing. In 2018, intensive international collaboration and growth in these focus areas led to, among other things, the launch of services for our first outsourcing clients in Scandinavia and the opening of a new branch in Lithuania. As one of its tasks, the Lithuanian team works closely with the service-desk teams in the other Centric countries to support customers who operate internationally.
If you would like to learn more about developments at Centric, read our annual report (in Dutch).