Welcome to the Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter and Year End Earnings Call for Applied Industrial Technologies. My name is Mariama, and I'll be your operator for today's call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]
I will now turn the call over to Ryan Cieslak, Director of Investor Relations and Treasury. Ryan, you may begin.
Ryan D. Cieslak
Thank you, Mariama, and good morning to everyone. This morning we issued our earnings release and supplemental investor deck detailing our fourth quarter and full-year results. Both of these documents are available in the Investor Relations section of our website at applied.com. A replay of today's broadcast will be available for the next two weeks.
Before we begin, just a reminder that we'll discuss our business outlook and make statements that are considered forward looking. All forward-looking statements, including those made during the question-and-answer portion, speak only as of the date hereof and are based on our current expectations that are subject to certain risks. These include trends in sectors and geographies, the success of our business strategy and other risk factors provided in our press release, our most recent periodic report and other filings made with the SEC. These are available at the Investor Relations section of applied.com.
Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether due to new information, events or otherwise. In addition, the conference call will use non-GAAP financial measures explained in our press release and supplemental presentation, which are subject to the qualifications referenced in those documents. The teleconference is being made available to the media and the general public, as well as to analysts and investors, because the teleconference and its webcast are open to all constituents and prior notification has been widely and on selectively distributed, all content of the call will be considered fully disclosed.
Our speakers today include Neil Schrimsher, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Dave Wells, our Chief Financial Officer.
With that, I will turn it over to Neil.
Neil A. Schrimsher
Thank you, Ryan, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate you joining us. I'll begin with a brief summary of the quarter and full year, then Dave will follow to review our financial results in more detail and also cover our initial guidance for fiscal 2020.
Overall, I'm proud of our team and performance in fiscal 2019. We delivered record sales, improved margins and increased free cash by 30%, all while positioning the Company to unlock further long-term value for shareholders through various strategic initiatives and investments.
As we enter the next decade and approach our 100-year anniversary, in many respects we're just getting started here at Applied, as our leading technical and solutions oriented model is ever more relevant across the industrial supply chain. Our fourth quarter results provide further evidence of our execution potential, as we were able to adjust to a slowing demand
Ryan D. Cieslak
Neil A. Schrimsher
President and Chief Executive Officer
David K. Wells
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
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