As we evaluate 2019, I would like to say that we are happy for and proud of reaping the fruits of the transformation we have maintained as Bizim Toptan team for the last three years and continuing to do so as we get better and better.
In 2019, we approached our customers with our “Standing by Trade” philosophy through our strong CRM infrastructure, which we built on our established corporate structure, multi-customer channel and multi-sale channel sales operations, geographic presence and high adaptation and rapid transformation in the face of new circumstances. Our "Standing by Trade" approach symbolizes our motivation to move forward in a supportive, strong manner in our trade with our suppliers and business partners and in the services we offer to meet the needs of our customers, together with all stakeholders.
Thanks to our Bizim Toptan team, who values innovation and digital transformation, produces and develops processes with this motivation, we can now understand the needs of our customers before our customers arrive in our store and take actions to meet their needs. Our CRM applications, which we synchronize with the digital world help us understand the needs of all of our customer groups and identify the product portfolio that can respond to those needs, new private label product launches, the best price and the best sale method. The transformation and diversification of our sales channels, which we have started and accelerated in the last two years, is the solid indicator of a “new” Bizim Toptan. With the steps we have taken and the sales methods we have developed, we have ensured that Bizim Toptan is the most innovative and organized wholesaler market with the most extensive store network in Turkey.
At this point, I would like to emphasize once again that we have strengthened our place in the sector not only with our store network but also with our diversified sales channels. While our expert sales team, which we call Professional Sales Force -PROSAF- was serving through 52 stores in 41 provinces by the end of 2018, it was serving through 90 stores in 65 provinces by the end of 2019. As a result, our business volume in the profitable and loyal customer groups we target has increased and the performance of our stores has improved.
Throughout the year, our digital sales platform has been renewed with special price for customer segment and campaign display features; it has become a digital platform that can be customized in particular for commercial customers and that recognizes its customer and offers opportunities accordingly; and has placed Bizim Toptan at the forefront of the industry. As of the end of 2019, our "Click, Come & Pick Up" service, which we started in Istanbul also proves that we are the most innovative cash&carry company.
In addition to being a pioneer in the industry and being the most innovative, SEÇ Market, a franchising system through which we contributed to both the country's economy and the traditional retail channel as we "stand by trade", continued to create value for all stakeholders with its success in 2019. The number of business partner markets we have in Seç Market system increased from 539 at the end of 2018 to 801 at the end of 2019. The share of the sales we make in this channel has reached 10% in our total sales. Providing high quality private label products and strong branded products with affordable prices and convenient payment conditions in the face of increasing competition and tough market conditions for the shopkeepers in our country, this system is notable as it is also an alternative channel for citizens to do shopping at reasonable prices and it will continue to develop.
We have broken our own record by increasing our number of customers in 2019 with our network of 175 stores in 69 provinces that we achieved as a result of our success in diversified sales channels as I mentioned as well as new openings, moving to new places and termination of inefficient operations. Our number of active customers increased by 31.3% compared to the previous year and exceeded 1.9 million. With our increasing number of customers and diversified sales channels, the growth rates of our stores and their efficiency have increased.
Our total revenues from sales increased by 21.3% throughout the year and reached TL 4.5 billion. Our 26.9% sales growth -excluding cigarettes and powdered sugar-, which we focus on for sustainable and profitable growth, exceeds even the total sales growth. The impact of this performance in our main category sales is reflected in our results in the form of an improvement in product mix and profitability. Likewise, the increase in the share of Horeca, corporate, individual and SEÇ Market channels in total sales from 42% in the previous year to 46% has brought about an improvement in customer mix and profitable growth. Thus, our gross profit increased by 25.9% compared to the previous year and our gross profit margin increased to 11.4%. Excluding the application no. 16 of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS 16), which was introduced in 2019, our EBITDA margin reached its highest historical level with 4.4% compared in line with the previous year, while our net profit for the period increased by 101% compared to the previous year, rising from TL 21.6 million to TL 43.5 million. Including the impact of IFRS 16, the EBITDA margin is 5.7% and the net profit for the period is TL 33.1 million, which proves strong financial development of Bizim Toptan.
The figures I emphasized above are significant achievements and we had these achievements thanks to your belief in us, that is, in all of Bizim Toptan staff. With this belief, we are working to get better.
We know that global dynamics are changing, the world has faster access to information, data is rapidly getting deeper, consumer preferences are getting more diverse. In short, the world agenda is changing rapidly and so is trade. In this process of rapid change and transformation, we as Bizim Toptan set our interests and goals into the future. To this end, we are aiming to incorporate digitalization and digital transformation to our process of change and transformation.
As we aim to realize our digital transformation works by focusing on digitalization both in our way of doing business and in the services we offer to our customers in 2020, we will continue our contribution to the country's economy and our goal of delivering Turkey's highest quality brands with the best prices and the best services to our citizens. We will stand by trade as a solution partner for both our suppliers and our customers.
I hope to share strong, sustainable, successful results and significant breakthroughs in digitalization as befits Bizim Toptan and all stakeholders in 2020. Kind regards.