Perfume Holding, an Interesting Portfolio for International Markets

05/11/2014 - source: Export Magazine (no. 8/2014)

Dino Pace, CEO of Perfume Holding, gives an overview of the evolution of the company’s portfolio and its main objectives.

Can you take stock of Perfume Holding, since you were appointed to manage the company?

DINO PACE: Our company was founded in 2010 and is controlled by Invest Industrial as the majority shareholder, as well as being an affiliate of Orlando. It was the result of the merger of two companies, Morris and Selective Beauty, each of which brought with them a series of brands which have formed the pyramid of our brand. They were – and still are – brands with a heterogeneous positioning, from mastige to selective. One of my tasks is undoubtedly to rationalize the portfolio, in order to create an internal balance. The operation that we will be doing is to focus, including in terms of know-how and competence, on the selective channel and what is known as “niche” or artistic perfumery. In this last sector, we have expressed ourselves very well with the Atkinsons brand, and its project, launched two years ago at the Tax Free of Cannes, is taking off on important markets. An important objective is to acquire new licences, or new brands of property, to make our company one of the major players in the selective sector. As far as our brands in the mastige sector are concerned, we are extremely satisfied. They are products with a good penetration of the markets, with a good price/quality ratio and, let me add in all sincerity, are generators of profit and cash flow which we then reinvest for the development of the company.

EM: What is the strength of your company?

DP: Our strength lies essentially in consistent competence on the product: we can launch projects on the market, both in terms of olfactory content and brand value, that are credible and professional. We cannot, nor want to, compete with the modus operandi of the multinational corporations which can develop hundreds of millions of eur

EM: What is your distribution strategy on foreign markets?

DP: Our strategy is to be increasingly present on the various markets, and for this to come about, we are reinforcing our commercial organization so that we can follow our distributors increasingly closly through our competent and professional managers in some cases, we are opening commercial organizations locally, or reinforcing existing ones. To date, in addition to the Italian branch, we have a branch in Germany, one in the UK and, in a few days’ time, one in Russia. We are in a joint venture in Singapore for the Far East which is one of our priority and strategic areas and we are expecting to opt for a similar solution in North America and Latin America, our other priority and strategic area.
In some specific situations, we are modifying the distribution structure, In some countries, we have different partners depending on the brands, as it is clear that the needs of a niche brand such as Atkinsons, for example, are different from those of other brands in our portfolio.

EM: Do you mean by this that you consider Atkinsons to be a brand that stands on its own?

DP: Absolutely, including in terms of distribution, which is either direct or through ad hoc distributors for this type of product. The so-called niche product does not belong to the premium or the luxury sector and has to be treated differently, as the consumer wears the brand in other ways, linked more to the perception of the luxury deriving from the quality and preciousness, than from the power of the brand itself.

EM: Is the fact that you have three different locations, Milan, Paris and Parma, an advantage or a way to make you… run more?

DP: I think that the fact of having hubs based on the respective competences is an advantage. Product development and the creation of the fragrance takes place in Paris, in Parma we have the security of a logistics organization and coordination of the various suppliers and Milan is the head office of our Italian branch. When I am not travelling – I have to say that I am often somewhere around the world – my base is at the Milan office, more practical for travelling.

EM: Talking about foreign markets, where do you see the greatest potential?

DP: Definitely in the Far East: although it is not the part of the world that see the greatest consumption of fragrances,it is for sure the place where the market is encountering very great growth.Which is triggered off by the new target of young people who are more open to discovering the world of fragrances.There is also great sensitivity by the operators and department stores of the sector, always ready to receive new products with great interest. The Middle East is definitely an interesting area as well, as is South America, which is another very strategic area for us: we are very strong in Brazil, especially with the Ferrari brand, and shortly we have the possibility of entering Mexico. The same goes for the USA where we are already present but where we are counting on strong development.

EM: What are you objectives in the medium and long terms?

DP: To become slightly larger, seize new opportunities both of portfolio and the market and continue natural growth on the brands we are focusing on. I believe they are feasibleobjectives for a company like ours of small-medium dimensions where flexibility and speed of action can represent a winning element.

EM: Is there a synergy between the parent companies of the brands and yourselves?

DP: Yes, and this is a winning factor. On our side, we have to be able to adapt to the methods and times of the parent companies, which quite rightly monitor the work of the licences. On their side, there is trust in the professionalism and in the capacity to interpret the brand.

EM: Are you satisfied with your presence in duty free?

DP: Where we are present we are very satisfied, however we are talking about a sector which we want to develop much more, I think that in a couple of years we will have to create a separate division with its own manager. Our presence in Changi Airport in Singapore with no fewer than 7 personalized spaces for Ferrari and 6 for Atkinsons to give you just one example, makes us hope positively for our growth in this channel as well.

EM: My last question is personal. How do you find occupying a position of such great responsibility in the perfumery sector, being a real globe-trotter from one side of the world to the other and having to keep the situation under control all the time?

DP: Perhaps you wanted to ask me how much adrenalin need to have in your body to fill a company with an international mission? The truth is that you need a good dose of balance and you have to know how to stop to plan well. I like this challenge, it is something new and exciting for me. My past in a perfumery multinational – although on the national market – made this next passage possible, in a dimension that suits my personality better. I wouldn’t turn back for any reason in the world.

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