Activity was very strong throughout the semester, leading the Group to grow by 31% thanks to the organic performance of 13% and the benefit of the Paymark and BS Payone contributions. Retail performance is perfectly in line with our expectations with growth of 11%, while B&A exceeded expectations at 16%, thanks to outperformance in Brazil and Asia. This achievement, coupled with the deployment of the cost savings initiated in Retail in 2018, and the implementation of our Fit for Growth program throughout the Group, enabled us to generate solid EBITDA. At the same time, the deployment of a redesigned cash control process enabled the Group to achieve record free cash flow of 120 million euros in the first half of the year. For the second half of the year, B&A performance is expected to normalize as retail continues to show solid double-digit growth with operational leverage.
Our teams are now fully executing our Fit for Growth transformation plan including B&A Revival, Retail Acceleration and Corporate actions. The first achievements of the first half of the year have created a solid basis for our medium-term ambition, as communicated last April. In view of the outperformance of the first half, we are raising all of our targets for 2019. ”