SHAREHOLDERS’ LETTER N°51
BIC Group’s Shareholders' Letter of June 2020
The current crisis is impacting the global economy, and BIC in particular, in many unprecedented ways. The headwinds that we have been facing in recent months, whether COVID-19 related or not, are affecting our short-term resilience and weighted on our quarterly results. However, they offer a timely opportunity to adapt our business model and accelerate our long-term growth.
To succeed, we will capitalize on our historical strengths: our teams, industrial know-how, BIC® and other powerful consumer brands, and distribution network and adapt them to the changing environment. This is the objective of the five actions announced at our Annual General Meeting last May: controlling Operating Expenses, protecting Cash Flow, fostering Innovation, adapting operations and stimulating growth. These actions aim at reinforcing and accelerating our transformation plan “BIC 2022 - Invent the Future” to be more agile, responsive, and ambitious.
Amongst our recent successes, one of BIC’s most innovative stationery products, BodyMark by BIC®, our temporary tattoo marker, has been introduced on the European market only a few days after the confinement had been lifted. In the USA, our Us branded shaver and its range of grooming products is the first affordable unisex shaver to be available to consumers in-store. Finally, our new pocket lighter EZ Reach will be launching this summer in the USA. All of these products meet new or evolving consumer needs without compromising BIC’s DNA: affordability and quality.
The acquisition of Djeep, a leading manufacturer of quality pocket lighters, will enable us to broaden our product range, accelerate our trade-up and personalization strategy, and progressively shift our historical volume-driven production model to a revenue-based model, better suited to consumption trends, particularly in mature markets.
This external growth initiative will not be isolated. It is consistent with our desire to seek growth opportunities, skills, and capabilities externally to enrich and strengthen our organization, such as the partnership we recently signed with Iprova. This partnership aims at enhancing BIC’s Innovation and R&D activities through machine-learning and Artificial Intelligence to help anticipate and answer rapidly changing consumer needs.
I am convinced that the success of our new products and progress in e-Commerce, the ability to enhance our industrial and network efficiency, and the daily commitment of our teams, will enable us to emerge stronger from this crisis and create value for all our stakeholders.
Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer
BIC IS TRANSFORMING FOR GROWTH
With five actions to improve short-term resilience and accelerate long-term growth
- - Managing OPEX
- - Protecting cash flow
- - Launching innovation
- - Scaling Operations and
- - Driving Growth.
BIC ACQUIRES DJEEP TO ENHANCE ITS LEADERSHIP IN THE GLOBAL POCKET LIGHTERS MARKET
The Group has signed an agreement to enter exclusive negociations to acquire Djeep, a French supplier of branded decorated high quality lighters.
This acquisition will strengthen BIC’s leadership in safety pocket lighters. With their unique shape, Djeep lighters are a strong addition to BIC’s existing portfolio
BIC AND IPROVA LAUNCH INVENTION LAB
BIC is partnering with a Swiss-based high tech company, Iprova, to strengthen the Group’s Innovation and R&D capability.
Iprova has developed a data-driven approach that uses Artificial Intelligence to augment and complement the human Intelligence. The use of their technology will enhance our approach to future products that solve the needs of our consumers. Through this partnership, our aim is to invent at a more rapid pace and at a greater level of disruptness.
Iprova’s technology will be brought in-house to form the “BIC-Iprova Invention Lab”. Its first focus will be in Stationery, where it will help BIC explore new and innovative products that will simplify the lives of our consumers and allow for ease of self-expression.
BIC SHAREHOLDERS MEETING
SOCIÉTÉ BIC held its Annual General Meeting closed-doors on May 20, 2020 in Clichy. All the proposed resolutions were approved, including the payment of 2.45 euros dividend per share, the 2019 compensation elements to the corporate officers, as well as, the compensation policy for 2020.
The Shareholders renewed Marie-Pauline Chandon-Moët and Candace Matthews Directors mandates, approved Timothée Bich’s co-optation as a Director and the renewal of his mandate. Jake Schwartz joined the Board of Directors as independent Director.
The meeting was conducted entirely online. Pierre Vareille, chairman of the Board of Directors commented on Group 2019 financial results and the key highlights of the year. He also presented the CSR actions implemented in 2019, as well as, the elements related to the Governance. Then Gonzalve Bich, Group Chief Executive, provided an update on Q1 2020 activity and the impact of Covid-19 outbreak on the Group. In the face of this unprecedented crisis and to improve the short-term resilience and accelerate the long-term growth, the Group has initiated an action plan that Gonzalve Bich commented on during his presentation.
Before the announcement of the voting results by the Group General Secretary, Pierre Maruani, Gonzalve Bich answered every question that was submitted by E-mail prior the AGM.
You can consult the documentation of the 2020 AGM on our website and listen to the replay of the event: https://www.bicworld.com/en/investors/shareholders
BIC 2019 INTEGRATED REPORT
As we progress on our path to “Integrated Thinking,” this 2019 edition focuses on the evolution of our business environment, impacts on consumer behavior, how we adapt as a company and how we engage with our stakeholders.
COVID 19 : BIC DEMONSTRATING SOLIDARITY
This crisis spearheaded a huge wave of solidarity, in which BIC teams actively participated. More than 2.4 million products were donated throughout the world: including shavers to hospitals, and writing instruments and computers to underprivileged children.
In our factories, teams produced safety visors for hospital staff. In our lighter factory in Redon- France, these visors were adapted for children in primary and secondary schools of the region.
In addition, the budget usually dedicated to distribute some gifts to our shareholders attending the AGM, was this year donated to the French association “Rêv’Elles” to finance the equivalent of 50 hours of individual coaching for young women facing social and psychological difficulties.
THE LIMITED EDITION BIC® 4CL “personnel soignant”
BIC launched a limited edition of its iconic 4-color pen to honor our medical staff, and profits were donated to the French hospital foundation.
The team worked with lightning speed to bring the pens to market, which sold out in just a couple of days on www.bic.com, and has garnered significant attention from the media and collectors.
BIC 4-COLOR PEN CELEBRATING ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE U.S
In the U.S., BIC is encouraging consumers worldwide to send flowers via Instagram and help virtually plant a beautiful BIC 4-Color Garden.
For every hand-drawn flower posted on Instagram through 01-JUL-20, 2020 using the hashtag #BIC4ColorGarden, BIC will donate $1 to the Kids In Need Foundation in the US (KINF), with a maximum donation of up to $50,000.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in the U.S., the iconic BIC 4-Color pen has received an updated look and new color. The green was swapped out for purple in response to consumer feedback, and the barrel color is now a deeper, more modern blue.
To check out our growing garden, follow the BIC 4-Color Garden Instagram Page https://www.instagram.com/bic_group/
BIC CELLO ADVERT IN INDIA
BIC Cello launched a national campaign calling on students to make the right choices as they prepare for their exams – including choosing Cello Butterflow as their pen of choice to ace their exams.
The campaign ran via billboards, in print, and on social mediaand included partnering with regional influencers who helped reach more than 12 million people.
BIC SHAVERS GOES DIGITAL IN MOROCCO
BIC just launched a BIC® Flex Digital campaign aimed at building awareness, trial of the shaver, and driving brand advocacy among Moroccan consumers.
The campaign targets its audience through three steps. The first step introduces the audience to the new BIC® Flex range. Engaged viewers are then redirected to a BIC® Flex video focused on the functionality of the range.
The last stepaims to recommend BIC® Flex products on the Jumia site to the users.
BIC US PARTNERS WITH USA SWIMMING TEAM
BIC announced its partnership with USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, with US Olympic medalists Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel to promote the new BIC Soleil Sensitive Advanced razor.
Ledecky and Manuel are the faces of the “Game On” campaign, which celebrates the confidence and fierce competitive edge that exists inside all women.
Since its launch, the campaign has gained media attention from a variety of publications.
BIC JOINS THE ELLEN MCARTHUR FOUNDATION
BIC just joined the CE100,one of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation initiatives, a global leader in circular economy.
This is a new next step in our sustainable development journey and will allow us to collaborate with a network of companies and innovators to identify new solutions to today’s environmental challenges.
BIC CORPORATE FOUNDATION TO PREVENT SCHOOL DROPOUT FOLLOWING COVID 19
The BIC Corporate Foundation decided to focus on specific projects to address dropout risk related to COVID-19. Students from low-income families are particularly affected by this crisis and often lack the technical equipment and a good Internet connection to follow their courses online. Consequently, the Foundation has provided :
- digital equipment to 80 beneficiaries of AFEV and 25 young women of Rev’elles
- 200 hours of individual coaching sessions for young women of Rev’elles experiencing psychological difficulties due to lockdown.
A "RED FLOWER" BIC LIGHTER SCULPTURE BY ROYAL JARMON X CASE STUDYO !
Case Studyo (Belgium) presents its first collaboration with Brooklyn-based painter Royal Jarmon. Inspired by an original work called RED FLOWER, the partnered series encompasses cast aluminum works (each sized 25cm x 12cm x 8 cm) portraying the artist’s longstanding subject: the BIC® lighter !
A total of three versions are in the lineup: “Blue – orange flame,” “Yellow – blue flame,” and “Purple – red flame. Limited edition of 8 / color. Signed and numbered COA by the artist.
For sale on http://www.casestudyo.com/2020/03/red-flower/
Limited company Capital: 173, 933,156.80 euros
• Divided into 45, 532, 240 shares of common stock, par value 3.82 euros
LISTED ON: EURONEXT PARIS
ISIN : FR0000120966
Continuous quotation 552.008.443 registered in Nanterre, France