When times are hard, consumers focus on proven values. It is the satisfaction of customers over a long period of time which creates the strength of a brand like BIC®. Mario Guevara
was excellent and now we are beginning to beneﬁt from the growth in Eastern Europe. Shavers did well, as did Lighters, despite competition from Asian products. In North America, the stationery market was highly competitive. We made progress with distribution for lighters and the 4 moveable blade and hybrid shavers showed excellent performances. In developing markets, our
How do you explain such positive results for 2011?
Mario Guevara : This performance is the result of the serious work we have been doing over several years, of our deep understanding of our markets and our constant search for ways to improve. It conﬁrms the solid foundation of our business model – oﬀer consumers quality products at the right price and that meet their needs or their desires. Our business has also beneﬁted from the dynamic of developing markets, and despite the crisis, we performed well in developed countries.
Around the world, which countries and products performed best?
M.G : In Europe, we gained market share in Stationery. The back‑to‑school season
stationery activity saw more than satisfactory sales, both in Latin America and in Africa and the Middle East. We earned market share in Latin America where shavers had strong growth. Finally, our lighter sales nearly doubled in Japan after the implementation of the ISO 9994 and child resistant safety standards.
Would you say that shavers had a good year?
M.G : Yes, as far as shavers are concerned, we successfully reinvented the category by making quite a few investments over the past ten years, and this has made the diﬀerence. More than 60% of our sales come from products that didn’t even exist in 2002.
2011 was another record‑breaking year with a 3.1% increase in net sales on a comparative basis and a 14.7% increase in net income. Bruno Bich and
Mario Guevara look on an eventful year in an economic context that was unevenly balanced between developed and developing markets. They also take the time
to talk about the BIC people and their capacity for innovation
INtervIew by ChrIstophe vIdal
ExclusivE intErviEW Bruno Bich, Chairman of the Board
and Mario Guevara, CEO