“Thanks to adapted developments, the group succeeded in protecting its operating margins and constituted cash reserves to be able to react to market opportunities,” said the company in a statement.
Reinforced international presence and diversification
Cosfibel benefited from the economic situation to plan ahead, restructure, consolidate its offer and its presence on the ground. It has reinforced its Urban Networks in Asia (Shanghai and Singapore) and Europe (Switzerland and the Benelux countries), as well as in France with the recent acquisition of BoiteAlu, based near Bordeaux, France.
Furthermore, Cosfibel has also bought 100% of the capital of MMB, a proximity import trader based in Breda, Netherlands, that specializes in folding and rigid packaging for fine food market. In addition, MMB has an exclusive sourcing facility in Warsaw.
Eventually, Laser Paris, a company specialized in essential oil devices designed in France and developed in Asia, has joined the group as a joint venture (51/49). With a local sourcing network, Laser has strong connections with brands in the pharmacy, parapharmacy, phyto-cosmetics and aromatherapy segments.
“These three acquisitions represent approximately $m15 of total annual sales - which compensates Cosfibel’s sales decline in 2020 - and offer a high growth potential and strong synergies with Cosfibel core business,” explained Cosfibel.
In the short term, Cosfibel plans to continue expanding in fine food and luxury markets.
Toward a new management
However, the next chapter will be in new hands. After 20 years at the head of the company, Alain Chevassus is organizing his succession by appointing Marie Sermadiras as Executive Vice President, before taking up the role of CEO in 2022.
In 2012, Marie Sermadiras founded ZenSoon, a booking platform dedicated to hair and beauty appointments, which has since become Treatwell France. In 2018, she joined L’Oréal as Strategic Advisor for the Corporate Venture Fund (BOLD) and most recently held the position of Global Chief Digital Officer of the Active Cosmetics division.
“She may only be 31, but Marie has a strong personality and vitality. She is full of positive energy. With values close to our own, she is a great listener and an inherent team worker,” said Alain Chevassus. “I will support her as Executive Chairman of the group, with the aim of preparing the transition from a SME to a medium-sized company with a great team and strong vision,” he concluded.