With 11 million euros of investment in five years, nearly half the annual turnover of his company (23 million Euros), including six million by 2011, Jean-François Harpes, CEO and owner of International Lacquers (IL), seems to be unaware of the crisis.


Actually, market figures are self-explanatory. The market of nail polish has increased steadily between 2008 and 2009 (8% in Germany). In present times, such dynamism is almost sheer provocation. The famous “lipstick effect” seems to have also fully impacted the nail segment. And icing on the cake, the situation is the same for mascara, lip gloss and eyeliner.

Areas where, precisely, Jean-François Harpes has diversified his business in 1999 and 2003 by creating successively a filling / packaging unit, Interpack, and a production unit for make-up products, Luxcos.

"This diversification matches IL’s desire to provide customers with a wide range of products in full service, thereby enhancing its philosophy of value for money. Actually, the supply chain system manages projects from their initiation to their final delivery, which allows a step by step monitoring and an appropriate answer to each client," he says.

This diversification allows IL to rely on a 50/50 distribution of its turnover with the help of make-up, in the next five years, while enamel still currently accounts for 80%.

"Make-up, says Jean-François Harpes, is already on a six million euro trend in turnover by the end of 2010"

Under these conditions, International Lacquers could no longer bear the same name. “ From the beginning of 2010, we will change the group’s name to IL Cosmetics and keep International Lacquers for enamels, Luxcos for make-up and Interpack for packaging with a supply chain approach”, Jean-François Harpes says, “which doesn’t fundamentally change things a lot since our customers were already widely using the contraction of our denomination”.

Focusing investments on key segments

At the same time, IL reinforces both its quality and technical team, and sales team, and will be certified ISO 9001 at the end of next year.

The Full-Service axis will be more clearly identified at the beginning of next year, but IL Cosmetics will continue to invest heavily in the production with the goal to shift from 300 million to 450 million units of nail polishes and 20 million to 40 million units in make-up!

IL Cosmetics hopes to double its production capacity in the nail polish, mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss segments.

With strong assets on a dynamic market, IL has made what is necessary to supply it, in particular the mass market where the company has a real expertise.