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Companies & industry

Makeup: The Japanese group Nippon Shikizai in working order

The Japanese Group, Nippon Shikizai, has a long standing story with France. A saga that began in 2000 with the takeover of the Thépenier Pharma Industrie Company located in Mortagne, Normandy, complemented with the acquisition at the beginning of this year of a second French firm, Orléans Cosmetics. And there is more to come! A Group that today weighs about 90 million dollars in sales for a total workforce worldwide of 750 people, including France. Tsuyoshi Hasuo, Chairman of the new entity Thépenier Pharma and Cosmetics, tells us more on its strong points.

Tsuyoshi Hasuo

Tsuyoshi Hasuo

Premium Beauty News - A few words fist about your Group, its origin, its specialties and its development...

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - Nippon Shikizai began operating in the 1930s as a manufacturer of pigments for facial cosmetics and we are today one of Japan’s most innovative cosmetic and pharmaceutical suppliers in terms of R&D and manufacturing techniques. In addition to across-the-board manufacturing capabilities, overall quality control and an unparalleled commitment to research and development, we bring together under one roof, a unique group of specialists dedicated to providing cosmetic companies, worldwide, a complete business solution.

Premium Beauty News - Your interest for France is not new?

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - France is certainly one of the leading countries in the cosmetic field across the world where many cosmetic brands and world-renowned manufacturers have emerged from. The acquisition in 2000 of Thépenier Pharma Industrie (which was renamed Thépenier Pharma & cosmetics) was an excellent base enabling us to roll-out our strategy in Europe in the area of make-up. By taking over Thépenier, we were guaranteed to acquire a cutting edge production tool in terms of quality production and of compliance to standards at the best possible level. Requirements which are necessary in terms of pharmaceutical production enable us to develop ourselves with total serenity in the cosmetics sector. But we are also keeping an eye on the United States where this year nearly 20% of our turnover was achieved.

Premium Beauty News - Seventeen years later, you have reached your goals! And you added a string to your bow by taking over Orléans Cosmetics!

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - That’s right! You understood that we were patient. This acquisition of Orléans Cosmetics is also supported by major investments in Japan and, of course, in France. As for Japan, we are continuing to invest in our three factories and, more particularly, in the most recent one in Tsukuba, with a three-year investment programme of more than $ 25 million. This factory, which was commissioned in 2015, is capable of producing some 7 million units a year of cushion foundations and more than 10 million mascaras. We have invested a lot in hot filling. As you know we own a total of three factories in our country and a very large research laboratory where more than fifty people work.

Over the last two years, our turnover in Japan has increased by more than 35%, the turnover of Thépenier Pharma by more than 45%. and that of Orléans Cosmetics, which we have just acquired, by more than 40%. The market is extremely dynamic.

Premium Beauty News - What are the main assets of your Group in the current competitive environment?

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - What our President, Kouji Okumura, had said in your columns in 2013 is still very actual: Our strategy is still based on four pillars:

  • We rely on creativity and technical expertise to provide exceptional products that can proudly bear the names of those who trust us.
  • Our unwavering commitment to quality and our flexibility are the pillars of our business success. 
  • We strive to be a major global player and the most innovative and respected cosmetics contract manufacturer.
  • We seek to improve people’s lives with formulas that offer maximum sensory delight.
    One of our strengths is undoubtedly our ability to innovate.

Premium Beauty News - The takeover of Orléans Cosmetics also gives you additional advantages?

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - Indeed, beyond the historical activity of liquid and pasty products manufactured by Thépenier Pharma & Cosmetics, this operation will enables Nippon Shikizai in France to extend its offer in the field of make-up. Like it already does on Asian and North American markets, with products made in Japan, it will now be able to offer cosmetic industry players operating in Europe, a full range of products and services designed and manufactured in France: Skincare (emulsions, lotions, gels), sunscreens, cosmetic powders, hot-poured products, high tech make-up pallets and scented derivatives.

Finally, this merger will also benefit the optimization of our industrial organization in Europe, by enabling each site to refocus on its key know-how and to continuously develop the quality and originality of products offered by reinforcing and sectorizing the R&D teams of each structure. Thus, emulsions will be produced in Mortagne at Thépenier, while Orléans Cosmetics will be in charge of “powders” and hot poured products.

Premium Beauty News - You also want to emphasize, rightly, on the benefits of this “Franco-Japanese” axis that makes your specificity today!

Tsuyoshi Hasuo - Indeed I must insist on the fact that Nippon Shikizai is the only Asian subcontractor with production sites in Europe. This allows us to propose Asian market trends and innovations with a remarkable time-to-market, and what’s more, with the “Made in France” label! And that’s not all, our factory in Mortagne is FDA certified, it is one of the few in France, if not the only one, to be able to offer OTC products in the United States... this too, helps to make of Nippon Shikizaï a global player, up to the requirements of major international brands!

Interview by Jean-Yves Bourgeois

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