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2008 ANNUAL REPORT
SPERIAN PROTECTION Immeuble Edison - ZI Paris Nord 2 33, rue des Vanesses BP 55 288 Villepinte 95 958 Roissy CDG Cedex - France Tel.: +33(0)1 49 90 79 79
OUR MISSION, OUR STRATEGY
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN 02 2008: Sperian remains sound in an unsettled economic climate The board of directors
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO 04 2009 priorities: adjust costs and differentiate our offer to customers The Executive Committee
MAIN STRATEGIC dIRECTIONS 06 Staying close to our customers fosters innovation Powerful brands for a global market
INNOVATIONS ANd PEOPLE
SPERIAN’S SPIRIT 10 Our organization is about people
INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS 12 Head protection Body protection
KEY FIGURES 16
SHAREHOLdER INFORMATION 18
REFERENCE dOCUMENT 20
design & production Harrison & Wolf
Jack Burlot/Corporate Images
With special thanks to Orcières Merlette resort, France
For additional information: Corporate communications department
Tel.: 33 (0)1 49 90 79 72
Fax: 33 (0)1 49 90 79 78
Document printed on recycled paper
2008 ANNUAL REPORT SPERIAN PROTECTION
OUR MISSION Sperian Protection’s mission is to contribute to building a safer and therefore more productive working environment everywhere in the world. Our aim is to create innovative products adapted to the needs of each type of job, and to provide appropriate services for protecting men and women in their workplace, whatever risks they are exposed to; our customers are from various industry sectors; construction and public works, public safety, energy, telecommunications and utilities.
OUR STRATEGY Close proximity to the end user and the service rate we offer, the power of the Group’s brands and the trust they inspire, and an ambitious policy of innovation form the basis of our robust differentiation strategy. This is the way we have forged our identity, our expertise and our recognized leadership position in our business lines. Holding this leading position requires that we remain the reference in our main markets and innovate continuously.
SpErian protEction, protEction you can truSt
Message from the Chairman of the Board Henri-Dominique Petit
as i announced in the middle of last year, the functions of chairman of the Board and chief Executive officer of the Group are now separated, and a new cEo, Brice de La Morandière, has been appointed to head Sperian.
Because he has the trust of our teams and experience in the many positions he has held in various Group business lines, Brice was able to take over our operations smoothly, with absolutely no disruptions. He is now completely responsible for general management. i am particularly pleased that this evolutionary step forward in the life of the company was made so seamlessly and efficiently. Since mid 2008, the entire world economy has been suffering a completely unprecedented crisis - unprecedented in scale, unprecedented in its global reach, unprecedented in the speed of its transition to all economic sectors and businesses. in this troubled climate, Sperian relied for the whole of 2008 on the soundness of its business model to support implementation of our strategic development plan. the Group was able to continue strategic development, above all through targeted acquisitions, to strengthen our technical capabilities, our presence in developing markets and our positions with new customers.
the acquisition at the end of 2008 of Musitani, the leader in fall protection in argentina, complements our manufacturing and distribution facilities already operating in Mexico and Brazil, and significantly boosts our presence in the rapidly-expanding Latin-american market. in addition, acquisition of combisafe, one of the major developer and suppliers of safety systems for working at height, complements our fall protection offer, enabling us to supply globally collective and individual protective solutions, with a range of products positioned at the high end of the market. What’s more, this development strategy has helped to strengthen our positions, especially in the Middle East.
a third acquisition was doseBusters™, one of the pioneers of the technology for individual noise dosimetry, which means Sperian can now supply customers with a complete offer of intelligent hearing protection solutions. So this final acquisition also fulfils another objective of our long-term strategy to pursue a vigorous policy of technological innovation.
throughout 2008 Sperian continued to launch particularly innovative products in its various market segments, such as the fall protection system that resists severing on sharp corners, or high-visibility disposable masks for respiratory protection; these products match users’ needs perfectly. Finally, the Group has
2008 SpErian rEMainS Sound in an unSEttLEd EconoMic cLiMatE
2 2008 ANNUAL REPORT SPERIAN PROTECTION
satisfactory until october, was also affected but remains at a completely acceptable level of 13.5% of sales. in this context, our fundamentals are still very healthy, with a diversified customer base, strong brands recognized for their innovative qualities, expert customer service teams and a solid financial structure. i have every confidence in the ability of Brice de La Morandière and the Sperian teams to continue our development and to reinforce the Group’s position as a reference leader in our markets.
continued to capitalize on the Sperian brand, a symbol of trustworthiness for our workforce and for our customers; we also continued our worldwide investment in communication.
However, although our business activity was totally in line with our goals until october, it slowed in the last few months of 2008 – the earliest sign that the crisis was impacting our Group. Even so, over the whole year, sales were satisfactory at €751m or total growth of 3.3%. income of operating activities, which was
With Brice as our new CEO, we can be confident that respect for our values and principles of action are well safeguarded. These values help to make Sperian a reference leader in our business area. I have total confidence that Brice can adapt the Group to the current environment while still preserving our ability to reinvent ourselves to differentiate our offer and to open new channels to meet all our customers’ needs.
BOARd OF dIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board • Henri-Dominique Petit
Board members • Philippe Alfroid, Philippe Bacou (Co-Executive officer), patrick Boissier, Ginette dalloz, François de Lisle, patrice Hoppenot, Gunther Mauerhofer, philippe rollier, andré talmon
Corporate Secretary • Emmanuelle Camus-Nikitine
the nomination of Brice de La Morandière as Board member will be submitted to the shareholders approval at the annual General Meeting held on May 6, 2009.
2008 ANNUAL REPORT SPERIAN PROTECTION
the world. and finally, we have given priority to generating a high cash-flow level, especially through optimization of our stocks management.
over and above these internal adjustment measures, our strategy is based on strengthening our differentiation for our customers by concentrating on four main strategic directions that involve the whole company.
at a time of crisis, first, we need to get as close as possible to our customers. in particular, we have to strengthen our proximity to our end users, provide them with advanced expertise, respond instantly both to changes in their needs and in the environment in which they operate, while making sure they receive top-quality service; this fosters innovation - our second strategic direction. the crisis will generate new needs for products and services. the Group depends not only on internal resources but also on external partners to adapt the cutting edge technologies that exist in other industries to the area of personal protection. the third part of our strategy is to differentiate our offer through well-established brands, whose quality and durability is recognized by customers. changing our name at the end of 2007 combined with simplifying our brand portfolio has speeded up recognition of Sperian protection and of our uvex, Miller and Howard-Leight brands.
Sperian’s men and women have made rigorous efforts for several months to actively withstand a particularly difficult economic climate and an unprecedented crisis.
Since the end of 2008 we have launched adaptation plans which we shall adjust throughout 2009 to address specific circumstances in each continent and each industry. We have also stepped up our relationship with customers to give them the added value they need; this is how Sperian will differentiate its offer and win market share.
First of all, our teams are focused on action plans that aim to preserve the Group’s competitiveness. these plans rest on a limited number of simple priorities and budgetary objectives, applicable to our entire organization. these can be adapted to various possible macroeconomic scenarios. t