SHAREHOLDERS’ LETTER N°45
BIC Group’s Shareholders' Letter of March 2019.
On February 13th, we issued our Full Year 2018 Results and announced the first steps of our “BIC 2022 - Invent the Future” plan.
Our 2018 Results were in line with our expectations. We reached both our Net Sales and Normalized Income From Operations objectives and delivered a solid cash generation. This was achieved in a continued turbulent and rapidly changing trading environment; in this context, our teams managed to outperform in most of our markets. We gained distribution in Eastern Europe and Latin America, grew in e-commerce and benefited from the launch of added-value products. Throughout the year, we invested in growth opportunities as we continued to expand our geographical footprint. In Africa, we acquired the Stationery leader, Haco Industries, in Kenya. All of this was achieved thanks to the diligence of BIC’s employees around the world. Allow me to express here my gratitude to their commitment to building BIC’s success on a day-to-day basis.
Looking forward, I am excited to start 2019 with the announcement of the first steps in our “BIC 2022 – Invent the Future” transformation journey. To address today’s challenges and continue to drive long-term sales growth and the sustainability of margins, BIC is becoming more agile, integrated and innovative. The objective of the plan is to enhance efficiency across the whole organization to accelerate innovation in our products and processes while driving a more consumer‐centric strategy and improving our omnichannel distribution. For this purpose, I created an Executive Committee who with me will set the Group’s long-term ambition and implement BIC’s strategy. To measure the success of the plan, we have set the following initial operational goals:
- - achieve at least 20 million euros annualized savings - through centralized procurement – that we will reinvest to drive future growth;
- - increase the number of new patent submissions by 20% per year;
- - engage directly with 20% of our consumers;
- - e-Commerce to account for 10% of Net Sales.
We will keep you updated with further initiatives of the plan, as we progress with enthusiasm and determination through its implementation this year. By leveraging our entrepreneurial spirit and strong business foundations with an enhanced organizational structure, I am confident that we will be able to turn today’s challenges into future opportunities.
Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer
FULL YEAR 2018 PERFORMANCE
(1) Comparative basis: at constant currencies and constant perimeter. Figures at constant perimeter exclude the impacts of acquisitions and/or disposals that occurred during the current year and/or during the previous year, until their anniversary date.
(2) Normalized: means excluding non-recurring items (for more information, please refer to the Q4 and FY 2018 Results press release).
We expect 2019 Group Net Sales to grow slightly on a comparative basis and Normalized Income from Operations margin to be between 16.5% and 18%.
- In a continued challenging trading environment, overall sales performance may be subject to macro‐economic uncertainties and continued competitive pressure in Shavers in the U.S. Growth drivers include distribution gains and success with added‐value products.
- Gross Profit will be impacted by increasing raw material costs, the impact of unfavorable foreign exchange trends and the potential impact of sales volumes on cost of production. Normalized Income from Operations will also be affected by additional Brand Support Investments.
New factory in India
On January 16th, 2019, BIC’s Indian subsidiary BIC Cello inaugurated the new writing instrument facility in Vapi (Gujarat State). The total investment in this project is at around 28 million euros and enhances the Group’s manufacturing footprint in India, enabling BIC to meet consumer demand more effectively in this rapidly‐growing market.
BIC opened there its first ever BIC Cello vocational training center. After completing 500 hours of training, the first class will receive a qualification diploma allowing them to work as maintenance technicians!
BIC committed against Climate Change
BIC is proud to be one of the 22 French companies to be part of the ‘Carbon Disclosure Project’ (CDP) 2018 Climate Change “A-list”, rewarding the Group on taking actions to reduce its climate impact and placing BIC at the leadership level of CDP rating scale, and on CDP’s A List leading the transition to the new sustainable economy!
This CDP rating is an important recognition of BIC’s involvement in managing the risks and opportunities related to climate change
Partnership BIC Foundation + Morroco Cise
The BIC Corporate Foundation and BIC Morocco launched their new partnership with Moroccan CISE to expand the Tamkeen Initiative program which aims at transforming the Moroccan educational system through the promotion of social enterpreneurship and innovation.
Through trainings, students are encouraged to find innovative solutions to social issues that they are faced with in their communities.
BIC partnered with Donorschoose.org
In the U.S, BIC partnered with DonorsChoose.org and donated $100,000 to support classrooms in need! Having supported nearly 700 teacher projects, BIC has helped to improve the educational experiences of almost 78,000 students!
BIC® Marking Pro launches its advertising in Europe!
Discover the BIC® Marking Pro ultra resistant permanent markers with this demo video. See how they can mark lastingly glass, wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, and more!
New BIC® Lighter campaign: Your safety first!
BIC launched a communication campaign to inform and alert consumers about potentially dangerous lighters available for sale in the European market. The spot has been broadcasted on TV & digital platforms and the campaign will be rolled out gradually in several countries across Europe, first in France and then, in Germany and Belgium.
Happy New Year in China!
The J3 lighter for the Chinese New Years’ in a limited edition gift box was launched online in mid-January 2019. As the New Year of the pig begins, BIC sends its best wishes to all!
Our new revolutionary Stationery product: the BIC® BodyMark!
BIC® BodyMark was just launched in the U.S. This new tatoo marker can be used for coloring for body art! In the U.S., within the last 12 months, 53% of consumers between 13- and 24-years old tried to put on a sample of body art or a tattoo on their body! This is a great example of how we always aim to respond to our consumer’s needs, giving them the opportunity to express themselves through personalization.
BIC® BodyMark have been developed in cocreation with a celebrity tattoo artist, called Miryam Lumpini, who has 250,000 followers on the social media today! Myriam will also act in the next couple of years as an ambassador for the Group.
BIC® Flex 2 Hybrid Shaver launched in the U.S
One of BIC’s motto is to make technology affordable and the recent launch of the BIC® Flex 2 Hybrid shaver is a new move in that direction.
This new product incorporates our movable-blade technology at a very affordable price for a twin-blade user. After its launch in the U.S, we plan to expand it to the rest of the world!
A golden partnership for Charity
BIC® and the jeweler Tournaire Paris joined forces to design two unique BIC® 4 Colours pens with 18 carats gold barrels.
These exclusive pieces were sold 2600€ and 2800€ during a one-time auction led by French auction house Artcurial end of January. All the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization “L'enfant@l’hôpital”. Each of these two exceptional pens will be launched in limited editions in bronze next spring.
BIC and artists!
The US designer Emil Ferris won the golden prestigious award "Fauve d'Or" at the International Comics Festival of Angoulême (France) for her graphic novel titled "My favorite thing is monsters".
Drawn with our products the BIC® Round Stic and BIC® Cristal, and available in English, French, Italian and Spanish, this very sucessful book is definitely a valuable ambassador for BIC® products !
• Limited company Capital: 175,761,664.74 euros
• Divided into 46,010,907 shares of common stock, par value 3.82 euros
LISTED ON: EURONEXT PARIS
ISIN : FR0000120966
Continuous quotation 552.008.443 registered in Nanterre, FranceLEARN MORE