Premium Beauty News - Can you give us a quick overview of the P&B Group?
Laurent Dodet - Pharma & Beauty Group has six plants in France that provide development and production services to more than 200 customers operating in the cosmetics, medical devices, food supplements and pharmaceutical sectors. This tool is complemented by a partnership with Cetes Cosmetics, the industrial arm of the Oriflame Group, which gives us access to the production capabilities of its factories in Poland, Russia and India, when necessary, to serve our customers.
The group has 700 employees and posted sales of 90 million euros in 2021. We are targeting the 120 million euros mark in 2022.
But P&B is first and foremost an entrepreneurial adventure! After a two-decade career in the beauty and health sector, I wanted to acquire a company in difficulty in 2012 to develop a qualitative and innovative industrial offer for the beauty, pharmaceutical and food supplement markets. This first site had around twenty employees and a turnover of 800,000 euros. It was certainly a bit of a crazy challenge, but it was an exciting one too!
We created the group by successively buying up companies in financial difficulty, some of which were on the verge of liquidation. We focused on sites with specific know-how and, above all, motivated people!
Today, we have a diversified and very complementary industrial tool. Each site has a specific purpose, our units are very complementary but can also support each other for certain productions and offer our customers a reassuring backup possibility.
Premium Beauty News - The world of cosmetic contract manufacturing is in strong development but also highly competitive. What are the assets of P&B Group today?
Laurent Dodet - We do not consider ourselves as subcontractors but as designer-producers!
Our priority is the quality of service provided to customers. We master a wide variety of production technologies for dosage forms (liquids, pastes, tablets, loose powders, hot poured solids, etc.). Our site in Montélimar, which is GMP Pharma certified, allows us to bridge the gap between the "in & out". We can condition a wide variety of packaging, ranging from the most standard to the most disruptive solutions such as pouch aerosols, sticks (skincare and make-up), powder sticks, aluminium tubes, DOY packs, etc.
We have invested massively in human organisation, industrial infrastructures and innovation. For example, we have industrialised the production of preservative-free products based on CL TECH’s UHT technology. In total, we currently employ more than 40 people in cosmetic R&D and 6 people in food supplement R&D.
In general, we focus on breakthrough innovations, in partnership with start-ups from the medical world or other sectors, in particular for the development of dermatological products or innovative medical devices, but also the implementation of new production processes.
For example, we have done a lot of research on ionised water for healthcare and medical devices (e.g. nasal sprays). This research work will soon lead to a publication and numerous projects in cosmetics.
Finally, we will be one of the four companies participating in the Open Innovation session of the Cosmetic 360 trade show which will take place on 12 and 13 October 2022 in Paris. We will be meeting the project leaders alongside leading cosmetics groups such as LVMH and Chanel.
Premium Beauty News - What are your plans for the future?
Laurent Dodet - Innovation is still at the heart of our strategy and we plan to continue supporting start-ups in their projects.
We invest 6 to 7 million euros each year in new equipment and to improve our infrastructure. We are currently building 900 m² of offices in Saint-Chamas, near Aix-en-Provence, to bring together all our support services. On the same site, we plan to build a 1,000 m² building dedicated to our R&D. We also have a project to expand our sites in Montélimar and Saint-Chamas by 2023.
We are also thinking about completing our formulation know-how through colour expertise, particularly in the area of tinting (hot poured and fluid): either by developing this expertise internally or through an acquisition.
We also want to promote our know-how internationally, and we are structuring ourselves with this in mind.
Premium Beauty News - What is your vision for the market in the coming years? How do you intend to meet future challenges?
Laurent Dodet - Environmental and social issues will become increasingly important. Our carbon footprint will be finalized in July and this will allow us to identify areas for improvement and continue our actions.
To combine sustainability and secure supplies, we are working to shorten our value chains so that we are no longer forced to source raw materials from the other side of the world, in particular through the vertical integration of certain resources. In the same vein, we are also working on traceability, particularly for Energie Fruit, one of our customers who has placed transparency at the heart of its project.
Beyond that, I think that innovation will remain strategic. It requires commitment and patience, but our objective is to continue to grow while maintaining our agility and our sense of service.