Premium Beauty News - Your Group has certainly lived one of its most prosperous and, to say the least, eventful period, starting with its financial strengthening.
Dario Ferrari - As you say in France, the planets are indeed well aligned for us! The equity participation of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, which has joined our other US financial partner, L Catterton Partners, enhances even more our potential to ensure our international development. Our first goal in the coming months is to successfully introduce the Group (IPO) on the Stock Market. Bearing in mind that, and this is important, the Company’s family background and control will remain unchanged.
Premium Beauty News - Two major operations took place a few months apart: the joint venture with the Korean Group Shinsegae International Co. (SIC), and the takeover of Cosmint!
Dario Ferrari - I must say I am particularly pleased to have been able to successfully achieve these two operations. They are of great importance for the development of our Group across all Beauty sectors in the world. The Italian company Cosmint, which was founded some 20 years ago and whose historic factory is located in Olgiate Comasco near Come, also has a cutting edge plant in Poland. This acquisition will enable us to strengthen ourselves considerably in the skincare, hair-care and body-care segments. But mostly, it will give us the possibility to increase our production areas by completely unclogging and reorganizing our current sites in Italy and specialise them by niche markets. With Cosmint’s additional turnover of 145 million euros, the Group’s turnover has now reached the 700 million euro mark. Note that the Masu family, the former owner, will continue, of course, to manage the company while M. Decio Masu will also be part of the Group’s Board of Directors. And, as a result, we are also setting foot in the perfume market, an also dynamic and very interesting sector to explore.
Premium Beauty News - The second significant move was the completion last year, of the joint venture with the Korean Group Shinsegae International Co with the opening this year, of a production plant!
Dario Ferrari - I must say that this was a great opportunity to seize. I always thought that an essential step in our conquest of the Asian market, and more particularly of the Chinese market, was to have a plant in South Korea. Innovation and quality, often associated with Korean productions in the area of beauty products, are indeed a vector of success. The search for novelty and perfection is really in the DNA of this people. No wonder why they are often called "the Italians of Asia". This can only bring us closer, right?!
Don’t forget that we had already set up a R&D laboratory in this country. Knowing that the idea came from Mrs Chung Yoo-Kyung, President of the Cosmetics Department of the Shinsegae Group, the opportunity offered to bring to life in 2016 this joint venture with the Shinsegae Group was not to be missed.
A joint venture which, as you know, is taking shape today with both the commissioning of a plant and of a Research Centre in Osan, in the Gyeonggi Province. A brand new factory, representing a 30 million dollar investment, built in just six months that covers an area of 15,000 m² and which is home to a hundred employees for the moment. Production, which has just started will focus on skincare and complexion products. Of course the whole team is Korean, with heading it, a man of experience, Mr. Jay Kim. Our goal for this unit is to reach 85 million dollars in sales by 2020.
Premium Beauty News - Your foothold in Asia is therefore significantly strengthened!
Dario Ferrari - All the more since we are also very satisfied with our industrial tool in China. To sum up, we have four factories, one of 50,000 m² and three others of 20,000 m2 each, not to mention a high-performance Innovation Centre. This year, our sales in this country will have increased twofold.
Premium Beauty News - A word about the United States?
Dario Ferrari - As you know, we already have a strong foothold there. But acquiring another company is still in the back of our minds.