In the current environment of the Covid-19 outbreak, the health and safety of BIC’s team members, customers, suppliers, and consumers remain an absolute priority, and the Group supports all the preventive governmental decisions implemented to fight the pandemic.
A dedicated crisis team, comprised of all key functions within the organization monitors the situation daily and has taken all the necessary measures to protect all our employees and
Around the world, BIC teams are working relentlessly to enable business continuity by adapting commercial activities to maintain customer service and meet consumer demand for everyday essentials such as Shaver’s, Lighters, and Writing Instruments. To date, four Writing Instrument factories have halted operations to comply with local government guidelines (two in India, one in Tunisia and one in Ecuador). We are staying close to national and local authorities and will support their decisions related to the ongoing organization of work.
With respects to the economic and financial risks associated with the outbreak, the Group could be potentially exposed in several ways, such as:
• Disruption in BIC’s Global Supply Chain in the event of further factory closures, as well
as the discontinuation of the activity of some of our suppliers and subcontractors,
• Negative impact on Net Sales due to customers’ reduced activity or store closures,
particularly in the Traditional and Convenience channels. BIC realizes approximately
50% of its Net Sales in the US, France, Italy, Spain, which are among the most affected
countries as of today,
• Impacts on the cost base with significant deterioration of fixed cost absorption.
BIC is working closely with all its business partners to leverage its integrated business model, off-line and on-line distribution, and strong balance sheet to mitigate the situation and minimize the long-term financial impact of the epidemic.
In this context, and although it is still too early to assess the full impact of the outbreak, the 2020 outlook and market assumptions communicated on 12 February 2020 are suspended until further notice.
As of the end of last week, the BIC Net Cash position was slightly above 170 million euros. The Group maintains close contact with its banking pool and has confirmed its access to liquidity with its historical financial partners if needed.
BIC will release its Q1 2020 results and provide an update of the Covid-19 impacts on the business on 23 April 2020.