Africa and Middle East regions achieve outstanding net sales in the 2022 financial year

BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, had an impressive financial year,  with overall global net sales increasing by 13.8%. Among the company’s product divisions are Stationery (Human Expression);  Lighters (Flame of Life); and Shavers (Blade Excellence). The Middle East and Africa regions achieved a staggering 16.6% increase from  €111.7 million in 2021 to €136.4 million in 2022 for the financial year, while Q4 sales achieved 14.5% from € 29.2 million in Q4 2021  to 34.4 million in Q4 2022.

BIC global CEO Gonzalve Bich said: “As a result of the Horizon strategic plan, we have seen growth in Net Sales go from high single digits to double digits in all divisions, achieved another year of outstanding top-line performance, and achieved our Free Cash Flow target. Market share gains in key regions and a continuous flow of premium product innovations demonstrate our ability to maintain commercial excellence despite strong inflation and recessionary pressures.”

Bich added: “This momentum strengthens our position and relevance as a value and valued consumer brand. We also made tremendous progress against our sustainability goals throughout 2022, primarily in eco-friendly consumer packaging and recycled plastics used in our products. I am confident that, in 2023, we will remain resilient, growing Net Sales by 5% to 7% at constant currencies while increasing our margin as we pursue our long-term goals for accelerated profitable growth.”

Africa and Middle East performance

A 16.9% increase was reported in the region’s Stationery (Human Expression) category, driven by classic and premium segments, including Ball Pen, Gel, and Intensity. Since 2019, sales of Creative and Digital Expression products have increased more than 40% year-on-year. A robust Back-To-School season in both hemispheres, supported by solid commercial execution and ongoing support has played a significant role in this growth.

South Africa had its best Back-To-School season in six years, which contributed to double-digit growth, with Kenya, Morocco, and Tunisia also contributing.  

The company’s online sales saw growth of 10.2% in 2022 due to a continued focus on developing exceptional content and enhancing omnichannel experiences. All regions and divisions saw double-digit growth. Developing markets and Omni retailer channels contributed the most to e-commerce sales, with the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America leading the way. Additionally, African, Latin American, and Brazilian economies have exceeded their pre-pandemic levels, with high-double-digit growth and increased e-commerce sales.

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