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SHAREHOLDERS' LETTER No. 53

BIC Group Shareholders' Letter of June 2021


Dear shareholders,
 
BIC began 2021 with a solid first quarter, underscored by the robust performance of Rocketbook and Djeep. Our momentum affirms the strategic choices we have made along our transformation journey.  We are also deepening our commitment to sustainability and instituting more programs to further engage our team members in our business. For example, in March, we launched the first ESG Impact share buyback program in Europe, and during our AGM in May, we unveiled our commitment to define a roadmap for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We also announced our new “Sharing Horizon” plan whose goal is creating the opportunity for every team member to become a BIC shareholder. This plan further involves all BIC team members around the world in the success of the Horizon strategy, giving them a shared stake and ownership of BIC’s future accomplishments through the grant of BIC shares.
 
I also want to take this opportunity to personally pay tribute to my father, Bruno Bich, BIC’s former Chairman and CEO, who passed away on May 30th. As a well-respected global business leader, Bruno Bich epitomized the very essence of the values established by his father and founder of the company, Marcel Bich. He worked his way up through the organization and grew BIC’s North American business before leading the Group from 1993 until 2018, first as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and then as Chairman of the Board of Société BIC. You can read more about his profound legacy, and other important topics in the rest of this letter below.
 
Gonzalve Bich, Chief Executive Officer

NEWS


A Tribute to Bruno Bich
Bruno Bich’s (1946-2021) entire life was driven by a deep passion for the family business and for the BIC brand and its products. Elected as a member of the Board of Directors of SOCIETE BIC in 1985, Bruno was appointed Chairman of the Board in 1993 and remained so until 2018. Thanks to the support of BIC’s Board of Directors, the loyalty of its shareholders and BIC team members’ strong commitment all over the world, Bruno Bich carried on BIC’s development with passion and determination throughout all these years.
See press release
See tributes to Bruno Bich on LinkedIn

SOCIÉTÉ BIC's Annual General Meeting
In light of the ongoing pandemic and to protect the health and safety of all stakeholders, SOCIÉTÉ BIC's Annual General Meeting was held remotely in Paris on May 19, 2021, and broadcasted live in video format. A replay of the event is available through this link.
The Board of Directors met after the Shareholders' Meeting and appointed John Glen as interim non-Executive Chair of the Board and Elizabeth Bastoni as Interim Independent Lead-Director. The recruitment of a new Independent Non-Executive Chair remains underway. John Glen and Elizabeth Bastoni will serve until the Annual General Meeting approving BIC's 2021 Financial Statements. 

BIC and Exane BNP Paribas pioneer the first European Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Impact Share Buyback Program
BIC partnered with Exane BNP Paribas to execute the first European ESG Impact Share Buyback Program, allocating funds to J-PAL, the global research center working to reduce poverty, and to the BIC Corporate Foundation for Education. This innovative program is part of BIC's Capital Allocation policy, to fund profitable growth and create value for all stakeholders. The ESG component is consistent with BIC's values, vision and mission to act as a responsible corporate citizen and be an advocate for educational opportunity all around the globe. 
See press release

BIC partners with ultimate duo, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, for new BIC® EZ REACH lighter campaign
Launched in the U.S., this new campaign highlights the convenience of a BIC® EZ Reach lighter, designed to address all flame occasions and including lighting hard-to-reach places while helping to keep fingers away from the flame. From setting the mood to cooking up a delicious summer meal, Snoop and Martha know the importance of owning a reliable lighter for lighting candles, grilling and everything in between. The ad is available on BIC social media channels.
Watch the ad
BIC celebrates 70 years of the iconic Cristal® pen and unveils refillable Cristal® Re’New
Over the past 70 years, the BIC® Cristal® range has grown to more than 60 models and 15 colors. Today, the latest addition to this iconic product line up is the new BIC® Cristal® Re’NewTM. While keeping the unique design and long-lasting life of the Cristal® Original, this new edition offers two sustainable benefits : it is easily refillable and its cap is made of recycled plastic. This new product demonstrates BIC’s willingness to innovate in a sustainable way with consumers always at the center of our minds
Available on BIC.com
BIC USA INC. launches its first full range of eco-friendly stationery products
In the U.S., BIC introduced BIC® ReVolution, the brand’s first full range of eco-friendly stationery items, thoughtfully designed to better meet the needs of the environment and the growing number of consumers craving more sustainably made products that they can use everyday. Each BIC® ReVolution product is made up of at least 50% recycled plastic and the paperboard used in the packaging is made of 100 percent recycled content and is entirely recyclable. The product line includes great everyday writing essentials, such as high-quality, long-lasting ball pens, mechanical pencils, permanent markers and correction tape.
See press release

BIC and Maison Pinel & Pinel join forces for a luxury edition of the Cristal pen
For the 70th anniversary of the BIC® Cristal® pen, BIC created an innovative premium version of the pen, combining its original design with the luxury and craftsmanship of Maison Pinel & Pinel. These limited-edition pens are made with leather made in the Pinel & Pinel Paris workshop, with a nickel or gold-plated metal cap. 
Available on BIC.com

Dape74 launches a B2B e-Commerce website for French tobacconists
Dape 74, a BIC subsidiary distributing lighters to tobacconists in France and creating original design series throughout the year, just launched its first B2B e-Commerce website. This initiative strenghens BIC’s omnichannel strategy and supports our objective to reach 10% of our Net Sales in e-commerce by 2022. Thanks to this new portal, French tobacconists can order products to commercialize in their stores. This new website includes BIC lighters and exclusive designs from Djeep, rolling papers and filters, OCB, Rizla+, Smoking and SMK brands, and pocket ashtrays, in addition to  BIC writing instruments and stationery items.
Visit Dape74.fr

BIC’s brings first bamboo shaver to the market 
Just launched in Sweden, the BIC® Bamboo shaver was designed to reduce our environmental impact and offer an excellent shaving experience. On top of the responsibly sourced bamboo handle, it has plastic-free packaging and is refillable, by keeping the bamboo handle and just replacing the blade. This new product launch is in line with BIC’s strategy to drive value through sustainable innovation with consumers at the center. BIC Bamboo received the CO2 neutral label for which the Group is measuring and reducing the impact of the product and balances the remaining impact by contributing to a carbon-reduction project in Kenya
Learn more

BIC launches a digital campain focusing on BIC® FLEX 3 shaver
BIC started an exciting fully digital campaign in Brazil for the Flex 3 shaver, further boosting its successful product trade-up strategy towards the three-blade offering. Marketing activations will take place on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Spotify, using entertainment and various influencers to present the benefits of the product and provide consumer tips. This new digital campaign highlights the relationship of the brand and product with consumers’ daily activities in a fun and entertaining way. 
See the TikTok activation

BIC education challenge names winners in Kenya
BIC East Africa, alongside the BIC Corporate Foundation and Enactus, launched the second edition of the BIC Education Challenge in Kenya. The five finalist teams were selected from 16 submissions from students across Kenya who presented their projects to a jury comprised of panelists from BIC and Enactus. The winners received a grant $1,000 to support the development of their project. The team will also be mentored by the BIC East Africa team as they prepare for the 19th Enactus National Competition.

BIC® Kids Junior Art Master Challenge kicks off in Ghana
BIC in Ghana launched the first edition of a drawing contest targeting students in primary and secondary schools. BIC® Kids Junior Art Master Challenge is leveraging the success of BIC Art Master Africa to drive awareness of BIC® Kids coloring range amongst young students in Ghana. This initiative includes partnering with well-known local artists Enam Bosokah and Yaw Safori to inspire students about art and encourage parents to support their children. The competition, themedMy COVID Experience,” provides an avenue for students to artistically express their COVID-19 experiences. The event will engage with up to 20,000 students and 1,000 teachers.

BIC Corporate Fondation is fostering creativity to drive change 

The BIC Corporate Foundation is building on its long-standing dedication to education by expanding its support to include projects that focus on the power of creativity through art, entrepreneurship, music, written and spoken word and body expression. To date, programs funded by the Foundation have positively and directly impacted the education of over 120,000 children and youth through 43  programs around the world. With the evolved mandate, the Foundation aims to support the building of creative skills of underserved and disadvantaged children and young adults to help inspire them to drive change in their communities. 
Learn about the new missions


BIC 4 CL now in the Centre Pompidou permanent collections 

The BIC® 4-Color ballpoint pen just entered the permanent design collection of the Centre Pompidou (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) in Paris, France. The museum also welcomed three additional 4-Color limited editions designed by artists, including “Noir c’est noir” and “Au hazard Balthazar,” two editions designed by Saâdane Afif for the Galeries Lafayette Corporate Foundation and "Ni noir, ni rouge, ni vert, ni bleu," designed for BIC by the French artist Claude Closky. ​​​With 3,450,000 visitors per year, this museum is one of the most visited in the world. The admittance of the BIC® 4-Color pen into its collection is a fantastic recognition of its iconic character and high quality design and manufacturing.
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