Olivier de Saignes, Operational Marketing Director, Albéa

Premium Beauty News - What is the breakdown of the so called "standard" products and "specific" products in your activity?

Olivier de Saignes - Our "standard" offer currently accounts for nearly 65% of the group’s turnover. Mainly because of our position in the production of plastic and laminated tubes which are, in essence, highly standard products.

I must emphasise also on the fact that we have become, with the integration of Betts, the world leader in laminated tubes, a segment that weighs nearly 300 million dollars in sales and whose main application remains toothpaste. A product that we manufacture in every corner of the world (Europe North America, South America, Asia).

As for plastic tubes, it is a segment where we are also world leaders, and this since a number years. This segment represents for us some 280 million dollars in sales and our sales mainly take place in the skincare segment.

We are currently the only ones in this segment capable of proposing our customers both a plastic tube and a laminated tube option. And this richness in our portfolio allows us to offer truly tailored solutions, going beyond the false and stereotyped scheme considering that "laminated equals cheap and plastic equal premium." Laminated is indeed very interesting because of its barrier properties and its aesthetic effects due to the aluminium layer.

But our standard offer does not just concern tubes. Our catalogues are also full of mascaras, lipsticks, make-up cases and lip-glosses.

Premium Beauty News - Second largest market for Albéa, precisely, mascara.

Olivier de Saignes - Quite true! A segment currently representing about 150 million dollars in sales and where we are also the world leader with a very strong position in Europe and North America. We manufacture our own brushes whether they are plastic or fibre based. A segment where innovation reigns more and more supreme and this suits us well. Besides, you surely remember our latest innovation to date with Dior’s rotating mascara. And as we are also enjoying historical scores with our famous Two-in-One mascara, TIO®.

Premium Beauty News - Albéa’s spectrum is therefore quite broad. From the production of tubes, which for the majority of them, are to be considered as "standard" products, to lipstick designing and, mostly of make-up cases where you are positioned in the more upscale segment.

Olivier de Saignes - Yes... sort of. The tube is certainly a rather standard product, lipstick too, but to some extent only. What’s standard in lipstick, is the engine. And in this field, we have managed to largely duplicate this product across the world. We are capable of producing it on the four continents. What changes is the packaging. As for make-up cases it’s different. Our Indonesian plant is clearly formatted for making specific cases, often quite complex too.

Premium Beauty News - Is this specificity of your Indonesian unit immutable?

Olivier de Saignes - No! I must admit that our aim is to automate some types of operations in other parts of the world in order to manufacture equally upscale cases.

Premium Beauty News - And then your offer also includes perfume caps and closures, and what you call ’Beauty Solutions’...

Olivier de Saignes - Caps and closures are mostly intended for perfumery where we achieve a turnover of approximately 100 million dollars. As for the ’Beauty Solutions’ activity, it represents about sixty million dollars and is growing dramatically.

Premium Beauty News - Your offer is also segmented per "markets".

Olivier de Saignes - We are operating in make-up, skincare, oral care and perfumes. This wide scope is for us a real asset. Since oral care and skin care are much more stable and less susceptible to economic fluctuations than make-up and perfumes. And this helped us a lot in 2009, during the last crisis.

Premium Beauty News - What are the major industrial investments planned over the coming months?

Olivier de Saignes - Innovation is obviously a major focus of ours with the integration of new technologies and we are continuously improving our processes with a particular effort on automation and surface treatment.