Following the general meeting of 14/6/2022, Robertet has undergone a change of governance with the arrival of a new managing director, Jérôme Bruhat, who took up his post on 1 July 2022. This is the first time that a non-family member has taken on this responsibility. With a “fresh” perspective, he gives us his impressions of the year.
I am both proud to join a company with strong values and humbled by Robertet’s history, built by many generations of family managers and passionate employees. I would like to thank the shareholders, and in particular the Maubert family, for their confidence. This company owes its current success to its main architect, Philippe Maubert, CEO for almost 30 years. I am fortunate to be arriving at a pivotal moment for Robertet. The company is independent, in good financial health and well placed in its market. It embodies an ancestral know-how in the transformation of living plant matter, which has been handed down from generation to generation. I did not expect this level of passion and commitment from Robertet’s employees, a great family of enthusiasts! This heritage must incorporate technological and environmental developments into our global organisation, in order to be successful in tomorrow’s world. Robertet is a challenger with a great spirit of conquest, ranking 7th in the world among fragrance & flavor companies, but the world leader in natural raw materials.
The company has managed to hold its own in a difficult economic climate. Inflation, the gradual exit from the Covid19 crisis and the war in Ukraine have created an unprecedented poly-crisis context. However, the Robertet Group was able to set new records in terms of turnover growth, with an increase of 16% compared to 2021, almost perfectly distributed between organic growth, the effects of acquisitions and the favorable effect of exchange rates. Although compressed by high raw material, energy and transport costs, our margin measured in EBITDA increased by +9.2% and represents 18.3% of sales. Net income rose by +6.7% year-on-year to 10.9% of sales. This is solid progress in a context of strong cost increases. In partnership with our customers, Robertet is working on price increases spread over time to gradually share the impact of these increases, rebuild our margin and invest in the future. Furthermore, our extra-financial performance is on track, with progress made on almost all of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating Robertet’s historic commitment to sustainable development.
Robertet’s main success is first and foremost its unique model, which integrates the ingredient from the field, in partnership with suppliers, right through to the product that we deliver to our customers with excellent traceability. This model has enabled us to deliver to all our customers in 2022, despite the many challenges, while maintaining our high level of quality. The second success is being able to engage customers from all walks of life and from all countries, who come to us for our agility and strong expertise in the field of naturalness and original creations. We offer them personalised solutions thanks to exchanges based on respect and trust. On the economic side, our activity in France and Europe, in Mexico, Argentina, India and Singapore for South East Asia has generated strong growth. I congratulate all our regions and all our divisions for having grown. The raw materials, fragrance and flavor divisions all grew. A special mention to our 4th division “Health & Beauty” which develops and markets natural actives and grew by +27% in 2022. It is important that this commercial and financial success allows strong progress in sustainable development. The number of our certified sustainable supply chains has continued to increase in 2022 and provides proof of our commitment to eventually certify all our strategic supply chains.
Industrial, regional and family-owned, I am convinced that Robertet is like a vein of gold with strong development potential. At the time of this interview, the year is off to a good start, and we are confident that we can once again expect good organic growth. By following the course set in 2010 by Philippe Maubert, we will exceed one billion euros in revenues before the end of the decade. The priority is of course to ensure the sustainability and progressive evolution of our model. Our development priorities are innovation, sustainability and the globalisation of our business. Innovation is at the heart of Robertet, and the growing enthusiasm for natural products is opening up new avenues of scientific innovation, new palettes of ingredients for our creators and new services for our customers. Robertet is going to become the world’s innovation hub for natural products, both through our investments in R&D and with our first start-up gas accelerator, which will open in 2023 in Grasse. Sustainable development is also part of our DNA, but we need to pick up the pace, given the urgent need to address climate change, with sustainable supply chains and solid extra-financial performance. Finally, the globalisation of some of our customers and the potential of countries where Robertet has little or no presence are all potential sources of growth. All of this is only possible with the support of loyal and committed Robertet teams, whose skills we support in their development, reliable suppliers at our side, and historical and new customers who trust us with our unique products.