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BIC Group’s Shareholders' Letter of June 2019

portrait of gonzalve bich


Dear Shareholders,


On May 22nd  2019, I held our first AGM as BIC’s Chief Executive Officer and presented our 2018 Results, as well as the progress we’ve made on our “BIC 2022 - Invent the Future” plan.

As I mentioned back in February, 2019 is a important year as we begin our journey to transform BIC into a more agile, integrated, and innovative organization.

Through market expansion, exciting developments in e-commerce, initiatives to drive market leadership in Lighter safety, and our commitment to education and Diversity & Inclusion, we are making progress on our journey.

Together with our teams around the world, and with the support of BIC’s Board of Directors and its Chairman, Pierre Vareille, I am confident that we have the foundations to turn today’s challenges into tomorrow’s opportunities.


Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer



Maintaining or growing share in soft markets

BIC-2022 Invent the future plan on track


Sales on a comparative basis declined 2.0%


Normalized IFO margin at 13.1%, down 3.6 points

- Manufacturing costs negatively impacted by lower sales volumes, unfavorable forex and raw material price increase

- Targeted Brand Support investments


BIC 2022-Invent the Future progress

- New Commercial Organization with two new Centers of Expertise “e-Retail and Digital” and “Commercial Strategy & Analytics”

- Net Sales from e-commerce increased 27% versus prior year

- Global Strategic Procurement Organization up and running.


BIC is taking the next step in its “BIC 2022- Invent the Future” transformation plan aimed at improving efficiency to drive long-term profitable growth.



SOCIÉTÉ BIC 2019 Annual General Meeting

SOCIETE BIC Annual General meeting

SOCIÉTÉ BIC Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in Clichy under the chairmanship of Pierre Vareille, Chairman of the Board.

The Shareholders’ Meeting approved the payment, from June 5, 2019, of an ordinary dividend amount of 3.45 euros per share, and all the proposed resolutions, among them:

•           the financial statements for 2018;

•           the authorizations given to the Board of Directors to undertake operations with regards to the shares of the Company (share buyback and cancellation);

•           the renewal of Gonzalve Bich and Elizabeth Bastoni as Directors;

•           the appointment of Maëlys Castella as new Director succeeding Mario Guevara;

•           the appointment of Marie-Aimée Bich-Dufour as new Director succeeding Marie-Henriette Poinsot;

•           the compensation elements for 2018 fiscal year of Bruno Bich, Pierre Vareille, Gonzalve Bich, James DiPietro and Marie-Aimée Bich-Dufour;

•           the compensation policy for 2019 of the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice-Presidents.

The Board of Directors, held after the Shareholders’ Meeting, took the following decisions:

•           the nomination of Maëlys Castella as a member of the Compensation Committee, and of the Audit Committee;

•           the nomination of Marie-Aimée Bich-Dufour as a member of the Nominations, Governance and CSR Committee.


Composition of the board of directors following the annual general meeting of May 22, 2019

Composition of the board of directors following the annual general meeting of May 22, 2019

• Pierre Vareille, Chairman of the Board (Independent)

• Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer and Director

• John Glen, Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee (Independent)

• Elizabeth Bastoni, Director, Chairman of the Compensation Committee, Chairman of the Nominations, Governance and CSR Committee (Independent)

• Vincent Bedhome, Director representing the employees, Member of the Compensation Committee

• François Bich, Director

• Marie-Pauline Chandon-Moët, Director

• Maëlys Castella, Director, Member of Audit Committee and of Compensation Committee (Independent)

• Candace Matthews, Director, Member of the Audit Committee, Member of the Nominations, Governance and CSR Committee (Independent)

• Marie-Aimée Bich-Dufour, Director, Member of the Nominations, Governance and CSR Committee

• Société MBD, Director, represented by Édouard Bich, Member of the Audit Committee.

New BIC Velleda board made of recycled material

From a pencil to a board !

A new board made of recycled material with a machine 100% developed in our factory in Samer (France).

Originally, BIC bought the core material of the board from a supplier.. but starting now, leftovers from the BIC® Evolution™pencil will be used, including graphite from the tip, scrap process and old unused pencils. This will enable to save up a substantial amount of raw materials.

Other advantages of this new board : it is more rigid, for the consumer to feel the robustness, and it is also less expensive to produce and environmental-friendly !

Watch the video

Cello's School Contact Program -  Cello Write to Win

India : Cello Pens involved in the field of education

Cello's School Contact Program -  Cello Write to Win is a Unique Learning Initiative in India aimed at positively impacting the lives of students and teachers in the secondary section (Grade 4 & above) to promote a positive attitude towards learning and education.

In its first year, the BIC Cello “Write to Win” program trained more than 60,000 students across 1,500 schools in India. The program focused on developing students’ handwriting skills, in addition to teaching them cognitive techniques that help enhance their learning and memorizing skills for exam preparations.

The BIC Corporate Foundation and City Year support the "Whole School, Whole Child" program.

New initiative for the BIC Foundation

The BIC Corporate Foundation initiated a partnership with the US-based NGO City Year for the support of the "Whole School, Whole Child" program.

The objective of this program is to strengthen the hard and soft skills of children in under-resourced areas who are at risk of dropping out of school. Young adults volunteered to mentor these children throughout the school work day, organizing workshops to further develop their social-emotional skills, amongst many other activities.

BIC inaugurates its East Africa office and manufacturing facility in Kenya

BIC Inaugurates its new sites in Kenya

BIC officially inaugurated its East Africa office and manufacturing facility in Kenya, following the acquisition of the activities of its historical partner Haco Industries ltd end of 2018.

The day's activities included a ribbon cutting-ceremony, an office and factory tour as well as an official event with employees and media. The news was very well received by the media, showing strong interest in BIC’s geographical expansion plans and its sustainability commitments.

A few snapshots of the event here   

Tipp Ex 60 years

Happy birthday Tipp-Ex®

Launched in Germany in 1959 and acquired by BIC in 1997, the iconic Tipp-Ex® brand just turned 60 in 2019 !

Among the activities developed to celebrate this event, please see a video showing the strength of the leading European correction brand!

Watch the video

BIC Amazon shop in shop

E-commerce : the place to be for BIC® products

2018 Stationery online offers were a success! A great example is BIC Advent's calendar, selected as an Amazon Best Seller during Christmas season!

For 2019, new gift sets have just been launched in Europe - also available for Stationers. No doubt that they will find their fans !

Click here ! direct to consumers website

Breaking news : launched in France

A new steps in BIC’s Digitalization  !

A Direct-to-Consumer website has just been launched in France.

Let’s shop here

BIC on jumia website


BIC signed its first partnership with Jumia in the Ivory Coast.

Jumia is the first African Unicorn Start Up specialized in E-Commerce. BIC is one of the first brands to have developed “a shop in shop”.

Click here to view more.



BIC Shave Club changed its look, feel and shavers!

Along with its recent launch of colorful system shavers, BIC SHAVE CLUB introduced a new logo and graphic chart with brighter shades and a great new modern design. Guess which one is the Best-Seller!

Click here to view more.

Check out our new online video highlighting the colorful design and quality of our refillable shaver!

U.S. BIC PR Campaign around Lighter Safety


In the U.S., BIC launched a PR Campaign around Lighter Safety with its inaugural 2019 Lighter Safety Report. 

BIC also partnered with Ryan Sutter, Trista's choice on the first season of "The Bachelorette," who is a parent and has served as a fire service professional for more than 17 years.

His intervention in the add was to support the action of raising awareness on lighter safety.

Click here to see the add

BIC products at Saint Etienne Design exhibition


For the 2019 edition, some BIC® products (BIC® Kids feltpens rainbow case, BIC® 3+1mp +BIC® 4 cl designed by Sâdane Afif for Galeries Lafayette) were presented at the Dépliages exhibition which celebrates Design as an intermediary between technology and users.

This exhibition was part of the Saint Etienne Design Biennale, an international famous cultural event with more than 300.000 visitors.

Through a selection of products or services, recently marketed or launched by leading companies, Design proves to be a creator of common ground, making visible the invisible and taking the mystery out of technology. Exhibited companies includes Salomon, Focal, Schneider, Michelin, Decathlon...

Great free exposure for BIC® !

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