Ludovic Anceau - The ILEOS Group actually acquired at the beginning of this year the American company Le Papillon, the North American leader in sampling and promotional packs for the perfume and cosmetic markets. This follows the acquisitions in 2011 of Mappel, the Brazilian leader in samples, and a major player in full service for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry, and of Biopack, the European leader in perfume samplers, in 2008.
In a few years we jumped from a turnover of € 39 million achieved by our Socoplan base in France, to about € 150 million today. This was achieved through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, with in particular the entry into new product segments and new geographic areas.
All the companies were unified under the Bioplan name in 2011.
Our business now covers the areas of unidoses, promotional samples, gifts and formulation. The broadening of the activity of the Bioplan division within the ILEOS Group is illustrated by our new international signature: Turnkey Promotional Solutions.
Premium Beauty News - You can now rely on ten production sites in the world, in North and South America, Asia and Europe.
Ludovic Anceau - Our goal is to provide our international clients with a consistent service, respectful of Good Manufacturing Practices internationally and locally (Cosmetic GMP) by offering them both innovation and production solutions near their factories, in their growth areas.
But this international presence is also an asset to address the changes occurring in our trade. In the promotional sector where inventiveness and time to market are crucial, our customers are asking us to support them in complete projects including the entire supply chain, from the design phase to the delivery of the finished product. This can even include the sourcing accessories to customize a specific packaging. We then use our Chinese site as a sourcing platform. There is a strong demand for full service and it’s our specialty.
Our Polish platform is ideal in Europe to assemble promotional operations.
Apart from promotional samples, the development of travel retail, on the one hand, and the crisis, on the other hand, have promoted the development of small size packagings, often very innovative.
Premium Beauty News - At the same time, hasn’t your core business gotten significantly more complicated, with formulas becoming more difficult to handle and with increasingly complex packagings?
Ludovic Anceau - Our core business has always consisted in being capable of filling, under industrial conditions, very complex unidoses. The sample is a real miniature size product, it must enable the preservation and the exact restitution of the formula. When a client trusts us, it is his formula that he gives us and we must give him the assurance that throughout the whole process, the integrity of this formula will be fully respected. Thus, it is our responsibility to conduct all necessary tests to guarantee that the product will not be affected by the packaging. We also greatly anticipated regulatory changes, particularly with regard to the Cosmetics Good Manufacturing Practices (standard EN 22716), which is imposing itself in the world.
But it is true that beyond this quality issue, the goal is also to be able to reproduce the application gesture, with as a logical consequence the development of increasingly elaborated unidoses and samplers with integrated applicators (mini mascara samples, mini lipgloss with a plug, etc..). From this view point, make-up is certainly one of the most demanding sectors in terms of innovation for samples and unidoses, even if the bulk of the market remains focused on skincare and perfumes.
Premium Beauty News - What are the investments planned to date?
Ludovic Anceau - One third concerns investments in connection with QHSE , especially to improve our performances in terms of GMP, safety and environmental improvements, another third will concern investments in productivity and finally the last third will be dedicated to innovation and new technologies to enrich our product offering. In particular, we have heavily invested in Brazil, where we serve very diverse markets and to meet the changes in local standards. In Europe, we mostly need to reinforce the performances of our production tool while making it more environmentally efficient too. In the United States, we strive to achieve a better integration of the different industrial tools coming from the companies we acquired.