SHAREHOLDERS’ LETTER N°43
BIC Group’s Shareholders' Letter of September 2018.
Our First-Half 2018 performance has been impacted by a volatile global context and raw material price increases in all our categories. While the U.S. economy continued to be strong, Brazil, one of our major markets, trended below initial projections.
Despite these market headwinds, we continued to invest in our business and drive operational effectiveness, enabling us to seize opportunities for future growth. We delivered strong performance in Stationery US, growing e-Commerce sales by more than 40% and we continued to gain traction in Eastern Europe with double-digit growth in Net Sales.
For the balance of the year, we expect Net Sales growth across all categories. We will deliver robust growth in e-Commerce in US Stationery, strengthen our distribution in Lighters, while new product launches will drive Shavers’ performance.
Our outlook for the full year is unchanged. We remain focused on delivering on our goals and leveraging the value of our brand as we continue to engage effectively with our consumers.
On August 31st 2018, we announced, the acquisition of HACO Industries’ Stationery manufacturing facilities and distribution of Stationery, Lighters, and Shavers in East Africa. This transaction is a great opportunity to strengthen our positions in one of the most promising markets for BIC products in the world.
With a strong focus on education, Kenya will be a driving force in the deployment of BIC’s “Writing the Future, Together” sustainable development program, which commits to improving the learning conditions of 250 million children globally, by 2025.
I am confident that this agreement will reinforce BIC’s long-term growth prospects in the region and generate value for all our stakeholders as we fully integrate the business into the BIC Group.
Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer
(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 First Half 2018 Results press release).
BIC LEADS THE E-COMMERCE BUSINESS AT WALMART IN MEXICO
BIC is making a difference in e-commerce for Walmart in Mexico where BIC is positioned as the pioneer for running commercial activities in the stationery category. Since April 2018, differentiated products have been added to the Walmart website, focusing on markers, ball pens, and colored pencils, offering to the consumers exclusive items and packages which boosted sales in this channel. BIC also participated in seasonal events such as Hot Sales, Back-to-School and Mini Back-to-School with new offers and continuous presence within Walmart point of sales and online.
“TOUR DE FRANCE” RACE: THE BIC® ADVERTISING CARAVAN ALONG THE COUNTLESS ROADS OF FRANCE FROM JULY 7th TO JULY 29th
The “Tour de France” is a unique opportunity for BIC, official supplier of the prestigious cycling race, to meet with its consumers. The four vehicles of the BIC® Caravan followed the 150th Tour throughout 21 stages and during 3,349 kilometers, distributing 320,000 "Made in France" products to the visitors.
During the beginning stages, the BIC Boy together with the BIC teams ensured the animations on the podium and on the starting line, and the cyclists signed with BIC® markers which had “Tour de France” logos on them. BIC benefited from great visibility also during the “counter-watch” and “in the mountain” stages of the race, where flags and T-shirts with the BIC® brand were distributed.
This year again, the School Bus welcomed many people with a prize wheel, pictures with the BIC Boy, activities around coloring and the BIC® Gelocity® Illusion® gel pen.
FIRST BIC® LIGHTER PERSONALISATION CAMPAIGN IN SOUTH AFRICA
In 2018 the BIC South Africa team launched the "Make Your BIC" campaign, a very first for the African continent, where consumers can personalize their BIC® Maxi lighters with their own pictures. This 2018 campaign was set up in popular lifestyle events, where a very visible BIC photobooth was placed. Last event was at Capital Craft Beer Festival in Pretoria where 261 lighters were sold in one day. The campaign was successfully promoted thanks to digital communication.
RUNNING PICK YOUR BIC CAMPAIGN IN THE U.S.
In July, U.S. consumers used their mobile phones to choose their favorite BIC® lighter wrap designs on http://pickyourbic.flickyourbic.com/mobile.php. The winning eight designs will feature in the 2019 favorites special edition series.
“BRAVO LES BLEUS”: A LIGHTER SERIES DEDICATED TO THE FRENCH FOOTBALL TEAM
Following the French football team’s victory during the World Cup on July 15th, 2018 in Russia, BIC launched a Limited Edition collection of its BIC® Maxi Lighter. The series, composed of four lighters, became a bestseller this summer. Available today in France in the tobacco shops.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL CAMPAIGN “THE POWER OF COLORS” IN BRAZIL
In the pursuit of fun and new activities, young Brazilians discovered in the campaign “The Power of Colors” a variety and intensity in the BIC® Cristal® Fashion pen lines. The film, broadcasted on national television, encourages the young ones to get out of a routine and to experience the new colors offered by BIC® Cristal® Fashion. Results were outstanding with significant sales growth and millions of people positively impacted by the campaign.
#BICTEMPTATIONS: BIC® LAUNCHES SEASON 2 OF ITS CROWDSOURCED VIDEO CAMPAIGN FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL IN EUROPE
After amazing results from #BICTemptations’ Season 1 in 2017 with more than 24 million views, BIC® launched Season 2 of its crowdsourced social video campaign, which highlighted young people’s ingenious and funny ways to protect their beloved BIC® 4 Colours® ball pens from being stolen. #BICTemptations was created thanks to the collaboration between BIC®’s creative agency “We Are Social Italy” and the crowdsourcing platform “Eyeka”, where consumers around the world, were invited to submit their videos.
BIC® launched this new season 2 on social media from August 20th to September 14th 2018, in order to support Back-to-School season and drive growth in Stationery, as a European leader in this category. The campaign will be rolled out in Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany and Sweden on BIC Group YouTube channel, My Bic Pen Facebook page, and for the very first time, My BIC Pen Instagram account.
BIC’S FAMOUS PERLES DU BAC SEASON 5
The famous story, known as “Les Perles du Bac” which has been promoted and organized by BIC since 2006 came back for Season 5. Ten new and fun videos were shown from June 26th to July 17th 2018 on the “My BIC Pen” french Facebook page, on YouTube, as well as on our brand new Instagram account @mybicpenfrance. This campaign was also the opportunity to communicate on our new product, the BIC® Gelocity® Illusion®.
Last year, the Perles du Bac became the #2 most popular video in June on YouTube France, reaching more than 6 million views.
BIC® DESIGN & SHINE CAMPAIGN IN THE U.K.
This year, BIC launched a campaign giving the winning participant the opportunity to re-design the iconic BIC® 4 Colours® pen in its own style. This campaign “Design & Shine”, developed to encourage creativity amongst UK and Ireland consumers, was launched for anyone above the age of 13 years old. The winner’s new design, elected by a public vote, will then be manufactured and the pens will be sold on Amazon by the end of the year. The winner will also have the chance to receive a £3,000 prize supporting its creativity to re-design the iconic pen.
“BIC® KIDS YOUNG ARTIST AWARD 2018” CAMPAIGN IN THE UK
Fancy seeing your kid’s creative drawings somewhere else than on your fridge door? BIC® Kids partnered with Mumsnet to launch a nationwide competition where 13 lucky finalists will see their artwork displayed on billboards around the country. This campaign was opened in July to 5 to 11 year old’s, internet users just needed to send BIC a picture of their kid’s favorite drawing!
BIC PLANT IN MEXICO GETS ISO 9001 and 14001 CERTIFICATIONS IN THEIR 2015 VERSION
BIC Shavers’ entire Management team met the ISO 9001 & 14001:2015 standards requirements in Mexico, obtaining both certifications for their new version. With this, the Mexico plant will continue to ensure the manufacturing of products that meet consumer requirements and expectations. In Addition, the plant will systematically manage the environmental responsibilities, thus contributing to BIC’s Sustainable Development pillar, devoted to the protection of the environment.
THE FIRST BIC’S “TEACHER’S DAY” IN MOROCCO
BIC organized a “Teacher’s Day” and gathered 180 teachers for the first time in Casablanca. Dedicated to primary school teachers, this event represented an opportunity for them to share ideas and experiences, and placed BIC as a major partner for Education in Morocco.
The “Teacher’s Day” was also a chance for teachers to improve their teacher-student day-to-day relationship and discover new techniques to help children in their learning experience through workshops, meditation, and training on child psychology, which was provided by two field experts.
BIC POSTER WINNER OF THE « CREATIVE LAB » ALONGSIDE EIGHT OTHER BRANDS
Last May, the UDA* launched the first edition of its "Creative Lab" contest, open to all and inviting candidates to create a poster advertising on a chosen brand. The 13 members of the jury composed of journalists, actors and artists had to choose a winning poster amongst the 150 posters received. They revealed the winners during the international festival for the “Cannes Lions Creativity”. Among them was the famous "un-disposable" BIC poster.
*French Union of Advertisers
• Limited company Capital: 178,072,592.84 euros
• Divided into 46,615,862 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