BIC has released quarterly earning for the second quarter and first half of 2021. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Solid results, driven by Net Sales growth in all divisions:
    • Flame for Life performance boosted by an exceptional start to the year in US Pocket and Utility Lighters, which we don’t expect to repeat in the second half, as well as robust growth in Latin America and the successful integration of Djeep in Europe
    • Human Expression result driven by Digital Writing, while Core Writing Instruments markets remained challenging in Latin America and India
    • Blade Excellence fuelled by the success of BIC 5-blade and Hybrid shavers despite a challenging competitive environment
  • Strong growth in e-commerce in all regions, including Developing Markets
  • Continued manufacturing efficiencies and further savings from the Invent the Future transformation plan
  • Sustained Free Cash Flow generation driven by strong Cash From Operations

“Robust top line growth drove our strong first half results, getting us back to pre-COVID levels on a comparative basis. A standout was the performance of our Flame for Life division, which grew across all key geographies, particularly in the U.S. I am also pleased with the growth we are seeing from our recent acquisitions, as well as our robust e-commerce results, and the launch of several innovative and sustainable products into the market. We expect the balance of the year to be more challenging as we continue to navigate through current worldwide supply chain disruptions and adverse input costs, but we remain focused on what we can control and the pursuit of our transformation journey, which I believe will drive our profitable growth trajectory and create value for all our stakeholders.”  – Gonzalve Bich, CEO

Update of 2021 Outlook (based on current market assumptions)

Given H1 performance and current market assumptions and without any substantial market deterioration during the second half, we upgrade our Net Sales outlook and now expect to deliver +9% to +11% total Net Sales growth at constant currencies.

The balance of the year will be affected by input cost inflation and the current disruption of supply chains worldwide, leading to higher than initially expected raw materials and freight & distribution costs. We anticipate an increase in working capital notably driven by the building of strategic inventories to protect supply and delivery for 2022. Full-Year 2021 Free Cash Flow target remains above 200 million euros.

Highlights from the Human Expression Division

In Human Expression, Rocketbook continue to show outstanding results, with Net Sales up more than 90% in H1. All online channels contributed to growth, with sales to Amazon driven by the success of June’s Prime day. BIC’s H1 Core Writing Instruments performance was driven by Europe, where total Back-to-School sell-in is expected to grow mid-single digit in 2021. In North America, the lack of product availability resulting from supply chain challenges negatively affected shipments to customers and are expected to impact Back-to-School sell-in. 

Consistent with our Sustainable Development journey, we launched several innovative products with environmental benefits in H1, including the BIC® Cristal™ Re’New, our first rechargeable metallic Cristal Ball Pen, and the BIC® BAMBOO, our first CO2 neutral labeled shaver with a responsibly sourced bamboo handle. We also started to rollout our new sustainable “SD Hybrid” shaver range in Europe.

To view the full press release, click here.

Source: BIC