Premium Beauty News - A good development for your Group during the year 2011/2012 which is reflected in the figures.
Barbara Bauer-Kropf - Indeed! During the fiscal year 2011/12 (which ended June 30th) the Schwan-STABILO Group exceeded the turnover threshold of half a billion euros for the first time, achieving sales of 503 million euros (previous year: 462 million euros) and an increase of 9%. Gains were once again made in all areas of business: Cosmetics rose by 10.0%, STABILO by 0.4%, and Outdoor by 29.5%.The Cosmetics division showed a particularly successful development, exhibiting organic growth, especially in Latin America and Asia. Schwan Cosmetics was able to significantly expand its business during the fiscal year 2011/12. Compared to previous year (241 million euros), the turnover increased by 10% to 266 million euros. This continued the successful trend of recent years; viewed over three years, turnover has increased by almost 50%. For the cosmetics business, investments amounted to 22.1 million euros, of which 14.7 million euros alone were for the Heroldsberg site. The lion’s share of these investments went into the development and industrialisation of new products.
The markets of the Asia-Pacific region have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years and are seen as the most dynamic growth region in the world. Increasing independence from the USA and Europe driven by a fast-developing domestic market and a growing, prosperous middle-class mean that high growth rates are also expected for the future. For decades, Western Europe has been the most important sales region for Schwan Cosmetics after North America. Slowly however, the markets of Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are collectively assuming second place among the most important sales regions in the world.
Premium Beauty News - The year 2012 was also marked by the 25th anniversary of the famous B-Matic!
Barbara Bauer-Kropf - That’s right! 25 years ago Schwan Cosmetics invented a very special cosmetic pencil with a new kind of twist mechanism: The technology, which involved pouring the bulk directly into the plastic casing of the mechanical pencil, was considered revolutionary. This eye and lip liner remains one of the products with the highest production level at the Heroldsberg site. In the meantime, over half a billion B-Matic pencils have been sold worldwide. Since the invention of this pencil 25 years ago, Schwan Cosmetics has been able to beautify eyes over 400 billion times all over the world as each pencil can be used around 800 times. To celebrate the pencil’s birthday this past summer, employees released more than 700 balloons as a symbolic greeting to Cosmetics consumers throughout the world.
Premium Beauty News - 2012, a year also marked by several investments.
Barbara Bauer-Kropf - In the past fiscal year 2011/12, the Schwan-STABILO Group’s investments totaled 45 million euros with a focus on new products. Furthermore, a significant portion of this figure was invested in construction. As such, cosmetics manufacture in Mexico is currently being expanded by means of a new factory in Toluca. Work continues on the construction of the Deuter (Gerstofen) logistics and administration building. And at company headquarters in Heroldsberg, preparations are underway for a new STABILO building which will also house a new IT centre to cater to the needs of the entire company. In Germany the group created a further 110 jobs so that a total of 1,850 people are now employed there. At the end of the fiscal year the number of employees stood at 4,390 worldwide.
Premium Beauty News - And what is your insight for the near future?
Barbara Bauer-Kropf - Like our Group Managing Director, Ulrich Griebel, expressed it very well, we are carefully observing the uncertain global economic situation and, with three completely different sectors, we certainly have plenty to occupy ourselves with. Nonetheless, as a family-owned company we feel well equipped for the task ahead, and continue to trust in our competence in dealing with many challenges, diverse markets and different brands.