Premium Beauty News - What is the outcome of the year 2008 for your company?
Guy Mallinson - Our turnover dropped about 4%, in particular because our exports outside Europe drastically decreased as they were impacted by the weakness of the US currency. In parallel,the European market dropped about 2% while sales were very low during the fourth quarter.
Premium Beauty News - What is your vision for the next six months?
Guy Mallinson - Beyond general uncertainties, we expect the first quarter to be very difficult, in particular for the perfumery and cosmetics business where orders will be fragmented and projects delayed.
Premium Beauty News - How does your company intend to overcome the recession?
Guy Mallinson - If there’s no demand we’ll suspend our production. However, we think important to keep prices at a level allowing us to remain profitable and able to invest in the long term. Price hikes that we obtained in 2008 are not enough, even when considering recent that raw materials continued to decrease recently.
Premium Beauty News - So, what about innovation?
Guy Mallinson - Iggesund is investing huge human and financial resources in order to reach an almost unrivalled level of quality. We have launched the New Invercote in July 2008, bringing a fresher whiteness to the market, while preserving the qualities of a “chic and warm” product that remains elegant throughout years. Furthermore, whiteness durability, which is a factor as important as initial whiteness, was improved. Actually, these investments should help us to accelerate product improvements and I think that several novelties will be visible in 2010.
Premium Beauty News - Environment and sustainable development are the new buzzwords in the industry. How do you address this challenge?
Guy Mallinson - Traditionally, Iggesund used to be extremely discreet and did not really communicate on this issue. Actually, Iggessund should be presented as a model, in particular if we consider the amount of money that was invested in processes and equipments for cutting harmful emissions and decreasing energy consumption (in particular of fossil fuels). Our latest project to date is the implementation of a plan to reduce oil consumption in our Swedish plant, with the aim to be close to zero within 2 or 3 years.