Francis Beaugrand - Soupletube

Francis Beaugrand - Soupletube

Premium Beauty News - Soupletube enters a new era!

Francis Beaugrand - Raymond and Yves-Marie Tricard, after developing the group for over forty years, succeeding to their father, in successfully recentering its activity on the fast growing sectors of tubes and plastic bottles and by also selling the historical activity of aluminium tubes in 2006, probably had the feeling that times had come to let a new generation take in charge the management of two topical major issues: markets globalization and the challenge of eco-responsibility.

Their priority was to divest the Soupletube group to a new shareholder who would have a good knowledge of the industry and would be able to continue the group’s development while respecting its corporate culture and identity.

Premium Beauty News - What is your background and who are the new shareholders?

Francis Beaugrand - I have spent twenty years as manager in the Pechiney group and then at Alcan Packaging Beauty in aluminium processing and packaging, which gave me a chance to perfectly understand the operating rules of large international consumer brands but also of the more selective ones and their expectations.

I then headed Veriplast Consumer Packaging, which had just been taken over by an investment fund. I thus became familiar with the operating mode of investment funds, characterized by high speed decision making and rigorous management.

I then sought to convert these experiences into a more personal project. The takeover of the Soupletube group gave me this opportunity, and involved the creation of a round table. I looked for investments funds wishing to participate to my project while still agreeing to let me play the role of majority shareholder. I am delighted with this association with Paris Orleans and Tim Mezzanine, two partners who will be able to accompany the group in its organic development and external growth.

Premium Beauty News - How is Soupletube doing today?

Francis Beaugrand - 2010 was a transitional year, characterized by a situation of market recovery after a very difficult previous year which had spared neither the industry nor the group (de-stocking, delayed launches, customers experiencing difficulties...). The mass market and in particular the dental sector performed pretty well and it also was a busy year for the selective segment.

We presented our project for Soupletube to major brand owners and launched a new sales dynamic which was very well received by the market. We have every reasons of being confident for 2011 and expect a sustained growth for the first half, with a number of launches and increased orders originating from all our markets.

Premium Beauty News - A few figures?

Francis Beaugrand - Soupletube is a small "Global" multinational group featuring both, guarantees in size and structure allowing to provide excellent services to supply chains of major international or global clients, but also responsiveness and proximity in order to also serve more selective or local brands. Our turnover in 2010 reached 55 million Euros. We employ 480 people in Europe in four factories, three in France (Lisses, Bayonne, Oyonnax) and one Belgium (Chimnay).

Our positioning, perfectly represented by our new logo, is original on the market, where operate very large globalized manufacturers and small family owned companies confined to local markets.

The new logo wants to convey Soupletube’s new ambition. Green, colour of vitality, embodies our attention to sustainable development. Grey, colour of technology, evokes our commitment towards innovation. The expanded "S" demonstrates our versatility and our will to expand internationally. The whole is framed in square edges symbolizing our professionalism.

Premium Beauty News - What are the group’s development priorities?

Francis Beaugrand - Our priority is obviously to generate organic growth, by implementing the principles of operational excellence synonymous with performance in terms of quality and service.

This approach is supported by a strengthening of our production capacity to offer our customers the flexibility and quantities they need to achieve all their multi-market launches. We are also focusing on product innovation and will be launching many novelties, some of them disruptive, in the next two years.

Finally, we are always on the lookout for any external growth opportunities that could arise from emerging markets to locally support our key customers in their growth.

Premium Beauty News - One of the strong elements of this strategy is hinged on environment related concepts!

Francis Beaugrand - When I took office at the head of the group, I wanted to implement an ambitious plan to limit our environmental impact and to comply with eco-citizen values but also economic efficiency.

I believe indeed it is vital for a packaging manufacturer to anticipate regulations and future customer requirements. A dedicated team analysed in detail the subject which led to the creation of a 2011-2013 Triennial Soupletube charter of Eco Responsibility comprising very ambitious commitments; it will be possible to check their implementation and current achievements for those of our customers who like assessing the performance of their suppliers in this area.

Premium Beauty News - What are these commitments?

Francis Beaugrand - Let’s start with a few figures:

- a reduction of 250 tons in our annual consumption of raw materials
- a reduction of 20% in our annual consumption of energy and water
- a reduction of 50% of consumables for our daily operations
- a 20% reduction of fuel for our logistics

Not to mention, by 2013, the fact of disposing of a full range of tubes and bottles made from recycled raw materials to offer the market a 20% reduction on the average weight of all our products.

Soupletube in a few dates

- 1946: Jacques Tricard founds Soupletube to produce lead flexible tubes. During the following years, the company starts producing aluminium tubes and industrially, settles in France in Bondoufle in the Paris region.
- 1980: Soupletube is the first European company to produce laminated tubes (metal-plastic complex). Lead is abandoned in favour of aluminium.
- 1982: acquisition of the plastic tube factory to the Monoplast Group in Bayonne, which then becomes Plastitube.
- 1987: Creation of a new plant in Lisses (Southern region of Paris) to develop the laminated tubes activity, which is experiencing strong growth.
- 1990: Takeover of Goiffon, a manufacturer of blown-extruded cosmetic bottles, located in Oyonnax (South East of France).
- 2001: Takeover of Eurotube a manufacturer of plastic tubes and injected parts, located at Chimay in Belgium, at the heart of Europe.
- 2006: Soupletube sells its historic aluminium tube activity to Alltub to focus on expanding segments like plastic laminated tubes and bottles.
- 2010: The Tricard family, wanting to secure the future of its company, lets François Beaugrand acquire the group. A pool of investment funds attracted by the project, joins in.

Premium Beauty News - There is innovation too!

Francis Beaugrand - We invest annually more than 5% of our turnover in R & D and Innovation.

Our development plan which was set for the 2011-2013 period is based on three main themes:

- A decrease in the use of materials and recyclability (weight reduction of capsules and collars, use of laminated and refined complexes, generalization of the offer to use recycled materials (PCR) for tubes, bottles and caps, suppression of solvents).
- Protection of formulas (reinforcement of the barrier effect for formulas used in colouring and food, adaptation of distribution solutions to help reduce oxidation).
- Improve the value added of our clients’ products and brands (new types of finishes, design of new forms of caps and collars and applicators to enhance the practicality of use for the consumer).

Premium Beauty News - Finally, you want to offer additional services!

Francis Beaugrand - We want to go beyond mere customer satisfaction and offer the market innovative services in the world of packaging to facilitate designing, development and industrialization. This involves the supply of small quantities of decorated tubes and bottles to undertake consumer tests or pre launch products presentations. This also requires modelling and sampling, not to mention consumers or distributors perception tests for new packaging projects.