Premium Beauty News - Heinz-Group is much more than glass, it also plastics, with unique international footprint?
Carl-August Heinz - Glass is and will always be our core business. As a reminder, we currently employ some 3,200 people, spread over five glass factories and twelve other locations around the world, including Germany, of course, but also Poland, Peru, India, Switzerland, USA and soon again China. Glass sales concerning this activity, including finishing activities, represent 280 million euros. As for our plastic activities, we have three dedicated factories employing some 250 people in Germany, Switzerland and Poland representing a total turnover of 30 million euros.
Our Group as a whole is doing well. In the space of twenty years, our position as a glassmaker for high-end perfumery and cosmetics has continued to grow and we are now recognized as such by the biggest brands. In this business, you have to learn to be patient. And, you are right; we truly have an international footprint. We have manufacturing operations on practically every continent.
Premium Beauty News - Your historic factory in Kleintettau, Upper Franconia, is now a state-of-the-art site!
Carl-August Heinz - And this modernisation of our sites never stops! We spend a lot of money every year (over 12% of our turnover in average during the last 20 years!) for all our sites.
In India, where the glass factory has been running since March 2017 with one furnace and three lines, we are going to invest in a fourth line. This market, certainly soon the largest market in the world for perfumes, is growing steadily.
In Poland, we have invested no less than 38 million euros spread over eighteen months with, in particular, the construction of a new state-of-the-art 140 tonnes/day gas furnace, that can be "boosted" to 180 tonnes/day and does supply six production lines, including a new 12-section line dedicated to perfumery and cosmetics. Aside this relatively big furnace for white flint glass we also have a fully electric furnace with 2 lines for white opal - a speciality in this world!
In Peru, we keep progressing in quality and efficiency to be even competitive in the Brazilian market. In our Kleintettau site in Germany, we will also build a new electric furnace that will be operational from June 2019 onward and whose operating principle is particularly energy efficient, after we have enlarged our second German glass factory in Piesau by an additional eight section IS-line in September 2017.
Premium Beauty News - How does the takeover of the flaconnage activity of Saverglass fit with your current strategy?
Carl-August Heinz - This activity started by Saverglass in 1997 and, dedicated to the production of perfume glass bottles, enabled Saverglass to strengthen its savoir-faire in high quality perfume bottles and developed a loyal customer base thanks to a very comprehensive range of standard models, particularly appreciated by niche perfume brands. This acquisition allows us today to broaden both our customer base and our portfolio of standard models, in line with our expertise developed in finishing techniques and plastic caps and closures adapted to glass bottles. The physical transfer of the production activity of Saverglass to Heinz-Glas has started end of December 2018.
Premium Beauty News - You have decided to settle in the country again, after having left the country in 2015?
Carl-August Heinz - Yes and we are back with high ambitions. Everyone is aware that this part of the world is becoming the leading consumer market for cosmetics and perfumes. We recently acquired a plot of 6 hectares and the new glass plant should be up and running by the end of this year.
Premium Beauty News - Do all these investments also concern finishing lines?
Carl-August Heinz - The trend is clearly for more finishing and packaging options with added value, especially for flankers, use by brands to revamp their lines, and for which decoration remains the main means of differentiation. Mastering finishing techniques is therefore essential and stands both as one of our main assets and our main development strategy. In all our glass factories and more particularly in Poland, Peru and India, the integration and mastery of decoration techniques is strategic.
Premium Beauty News - And what about the "plastic" activity in all this?
Carl-August Heinz - We are currently investing heavily (over EUR 20 million) in injection blow moulding in Switzerland where, as you know, we are already present. And we are working a lot on finding eco-friendly solutions in this area with 100% recyclable materials, for example for stoppers/ caps/ closures and have already developed some and successfully brought to market for which we also got remarkable awards (see international press).
Premium Beauty News - Do the perfumery and cosmetics segments rebalance one another for the Heinz Group?
Carl-August Heinz - Yes, and perfumery actually accounts for 75 percent of our activity, but cosmetics are gaining ground.