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Message from the Chairman

A self-financed and planned development

Dear shareholders and prospective shareholders,

Rentabiliweb has been undergoing a true transformation in recent months. We’ve pursued this transformation first of all in response to the need to adapt to the changes within our traditional sectors, but also given that every NICT company is obliged to integrate the fact that the Internet is in perpetual motion, with each decade having to finance the next one.

After 10 years of exceptional growth, without hesitation, we’ve decided to invest and to build our group’s future.

For this very significant investment, and we’re talking several million euros, nearly €6 million in 2012 to be exact, we could have borrowed.

We didn’t choose that option.

I could also have raised funds through the stock markets, thereby diluting my shareholders, even the smallest ones.

I didn’t choose that option. The adopted strategy was the same one that my board of directors and I have been pursuing since the creation of our group: anticipating, self-financing, being present in the most promising markets, without owing anything to anyone.

With this strategy and this philosophy in hand, I’ve been able to stand up to three economic crises, and three major worldwide financial crises in the last 10 years. We anticipated the economic slowdown that’s still affecting our traditional sectors, we anticipated the slower growth of the e-advertising market, and we managed to invest our funds in sectors that we felt were the most promising.

In this context, the Group’s mission since its origins 10 years ago is more necessary than ever, namely helping e-retailers and vendors to monetise their audience. It’s harder and more expensive than ever for a site to captivate a web surfer. It’s all the more critical since we know that fewer than 3% of web surfers who visit an online shop end up purchasing a product over the Internet, versus more than one out of every two buyers in physical shops, and also that nearly 66% of cyber-buyers will abandon the transaction in case of a problem when making their payment.

It’s clear, the issue for our business is now the ability to transform an expensively acquired visitor into a “client”. Faced with this challenge, offering payment solutions on the one hand and marketing tools on the other is no longer sufficient. Payment and marketing services must be merged in order to support e-retailers through to the collection of the transactions, and even beyond. However, neither traditional banks nor e-marketing actors have such an offer. That’s the cornerstone of our efforts: exploiting our favourite playing field, namely statistics, in order to integrate payment into the marketing strategies of retailers. We must be structured accordingly in order to face this ambition. You can’t decide to combine two industries, the financial industry and the marketing industry, with the digital ecosystem without the necessary tools, massive investments and a very precise organisation.

Rentabiliweb now has the status of a Payment Institution. Rentabiliweb has now been authorised by the French Prudential Control Authority. Rentabiliweb is now a member of the Carte Bancaire EIG and of the international networks. Rentabiliweb now provides its payment solution to more than 200 e-retailers, which already represents several hundred million transactions, in less than one year since its launch.

Of course, all of this has a price.

After providing you with 10 years of growth, 2012 was the first year in which our revenue and margin fell. Significant investments were a deliberate choice in order to prepare the coming decade. I’ve assumed my responsibilities. We’ve lengthened our investment horizon which, I would remind you, had never been longer than one year in the first 10 years of our group’s existence. We’ve had to come to grips with the fact that our company is now quite large, we’ve now entered a medium-term investment phase, and in parallel, we’ve consolidated our tool’s decision-making process and structure.

This strategy and these actions mean that we can now expect lasting results. The early indicators for 2013 are providing confirmation of the merits of our choices.

2013 will be the year that validates our strategy. 2013 will also be the year during which Rentabiliweb, with my voice, undertakes to communicate better and to regularly keep you informed of the progress of our activity.

Thank you for your confidence as we advance to a future that we have been able to anticipate.

Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier,
Chairman