THE POTENTIAL OF ONTEX

About Ontex

ONTEX IN FIGURES
2.09B €

REVENUE

5.45

ACCIDENT FREQUENCY RATE (#/M WORKED HOURS)

81.6M €

ADJUSTED PROFIT

-15%

REDUCTION CARBON EMISSIONS (VS 2018)

19

Production Facilities

28

Sales and Marketing sites

9

R&D centers

~10 000

Employees

70+

Nationalities

our markets
our Products and Services
BABY CARE

This is the largest part of our business. We manufacture baby diapers and baby pants for retailers as well as our own brands. They are designed to bring affordable comfort to babies and peace of mind to parents.

FEMININE CARE

By providing a range of products such as ultra-towels, fluff towels, panty liners and tampons for retailers as well as our own brands we are able to respond to the different needs and lifestyles of women. All have innovative features that offer protection and comfort at all times.

Adult CARE

Discretion, protection and dignity are the three key considerations in the design and manufacture of our light, medium and heavy incontinence solutions. Products include pads, pants, adult diapers and underpads, which are sold through healthcare institutions as well as directly to retailers and other customers and consumers. In 2020, we also built capacity to produce medical face masks.

2020 at a glance

Unlocking the potential of Ontex

Dear shareholder,

This is my first letter to you since being elected to the Ontex Board at the general shareholders’ meeting in May 2020. I fully understand shareholders’ disappointment at the company’s share price performance, and during the year we took decisive actions to address this head-on, directing our focus on the improvement of operational and financial performance, with one clear aim – value creation.

But first, I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of the Board to all our people for their resolve and resilience in a year blighted by COVID-19. As a Group, we responded rapidly. We ensured that our essential products reached end users uninterrupted and focused relentlessly on the safety and health of our employees. We also did all in our power to mitigate the financial effects of the pandemic.

On July 30, 2020, we announced the departure of Charles Bouaziz and the appointment of Thierry Navarre as interim Chief Executive Officer. Less than five months later, on December 22, 2020, after having conducted a thorough search among a strong pool of highly qualified internal and external candidates with a specialized search firm, we announced the appointment of Esther Berrozpe Galindo, an independent non-executive director of the Group since end May 2019, as new CEO with effect from January 1, 2021. I and my fellow Board members strongly believe that Esther’s blend of skills and experiences combined with a profound understanding of Ontex uniquely qualifies her to lead Ontex through its ongoing transformation and drive the implementation of its strategic initiatives. Esther understands the current challenges of the company and industry. Her leadership will intensify the performance culture, while the implementation of a new operating model and a new remuneration model are set to unlock the potential of the company.

The composition of our Board equally underwent significant changes during the year. In addition to my appointment as chairman, Frédéric Larmuseau joined as an independent director in October 2020 (for confirmation at the next shareholder meeting). Frédéric brings extensive experience in the consumer goods sector and a broad international outlook which will serve Ontex well. He fills the position vacated by Gunnar Johansson who stepped down after more than six years on the Board.

In April of 2021, the Board announced it is reinforcing ties with its two major shareholders GBL and ENA Investment Capital who, independently, are fully committed to supporting the long-term success of Ontex. Ontex is proposing to its shareholders to further significantly strengthen and diversify its Board of Directors, adding six Board members with talent and experience in the personal hygiene and retail sectors, ESG/ sustainability, procurement, finance and governance. Ontex is honoured and privileged to attract these high quality, exceptionally talented people to its Board, who are committed to the Company’s success. I want to thank both GBL and ENA Investment Capital for their long-term commitment and constructive support. We look forward to working together with our new directors to support the management team as it effects the Company’s turnaround to deliver improved performance and value creation for all our shareholders. For more information about the proposed 2021 Board changes, go to ontex.com news.

It is clear to me that changes are required for Ontex to restore growth. We launched a fully-fledged strategic review aimed at assessing all opportunities to deliver value creation. The Board set up a special Strategy Committee in October 2020 to enhance and expedite strategic decision-making. We are looking at all options, defining key priorities, and making clear choices to strengthen our business model. Topics include a review of our geographic footprint and cost structure, measures to strengthen our commercial capabilities in an increasingly competitive marketplace, and the ambitious but disciplined pursuit of external growth opportunities. We hope to present the conclusions of this meticulous review in the course of 2021.

We have thoroughly reviewed our remuneration policy. We intend to submit various radical changes to the policy for approval at the shareholders’ meeting in 2021 which are intended to reinforce the pay-for-performance culture we strongly believe in. This culture was manifested by the Executive Committee’s decision to reduce their bonus by 50%.

Ontex remains strongly committed to corporate responsibility. This manifested itself strongly during the year, not just through the response to the pandemic of our people or the actions we took at the local level with donations of our products and other essentials, but also through improvements in our key performance indicators such as employee safety and carbon emissions. Although there is more to do, we continued to improve gender diversity. Female representation in the management and executive committee both increased.

The Board and I are confident in the prospects of Ontex as we enter a new and exciting era of the company’s development. Ontex has all the ingredients to succeed. It is well-positioned in its core markets and has a longstanding and proven knowledge of the business to support its customers. It has strong manufacturing skills and, not least, a highly experienced and motivated team. There are also significant structural growth opportunities globally. We are acting swiftly and decisively to improve the company’s performance and restore market confidence. I look forward to working with the revitalized Board and management to refine and execute the Group’s strategy and create value for all stakeholders.

left quote

It is clear to me that the changes are required for Ontex to restore growth. We launched a fully-fledged strategic review aimed at assessing all opportunities to deliver value creation.

right quote
ontex_HANS_VAN_BYLEN

Hans van Bylen

Chairman of the Board

Restore profitable growth

left quote

We have all the ingredients for success but changes are needed. The company’s new strategy will focus on simplifying the portfolio, strengthening customer relations, accelerating innovation and improving costs in a rapidly evolving environment.

right quote
ontex_ESTHER_BERROZPE_GALINDO

ESTHER BERROZPE GALINDO

Chief Executive Officer

Esther Berrozpe Galindo took over as Chief Executive Officer from Thierry Navarre on January 1, 2021. Esther joined Ontex as an independent director in May 2019.

I am deeply honored and excited to assume the leadership of Ontex. I look forward to working with the Board, the executive leadership team and the worldwide Ontex family to take the company through its next stage of development.

I would first like to thank Thierry Navarre who served as interim chief executive for the second half of 2020. His dedication to the company in the last 15 years has been exemplary, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

My immediate focus has been defining a winning strategy for Ontex to restore growth, expand profitability and get ready for implementation. The work has included consultation with key stakeholders and, of course, with the Ontex teams.

Our 2020 financial results a good picture of the potential upside in the performance of the Group. They also illustrate the urgent need to restore topline growth, improve free cash flow generation and reduce leverage.

In short, we need to generate adequate returns on capital employed and rebuild shareholder value creation that has been lacking in recent years.

There are a number of areas we must change in order to restore and progress our financial performance.

The complexity of our business is one area we will be addressing. We should leverage our reach and scale to drive growth and enhance value creation. Our focus will be on accelerating growth in North America, outperforming the market, giving more focus to the growing segment of Adult Care and partnering more closely with retailers to grow their and our retailer brand business, including in e-commerce. We have already supported a number of retailers in key markets to create powerful on-line retailer brands, and we plan to continue this work.

Our innovation work requires closer ties with both customers (to understand their needs) and with suppliers (to leverage their knowhow). If we concentrate resources, we increase the cadence of innovation and can optimize investments through the synergies between our Retailer and Own Brands. We also need to fully exploit our relationships with new ‘lifestyle’ brands to feed our innovation pipeline in anticipation of consumer trends.

Cost is another key area and we will be looking at our whole cost structure. We need to leverage our vast expertise and scale to our
advantage, intensifying our efforts to crosspollinate ideas and best practices in all aspects of manufacturing from process optimization to waste elimination. Portfolio simplification will be a key enabler to help in this transformation.

We need to leverage the entrepreneurial essence of Ontex to reconnect with customers, to return to be a more customer-centric organization and to spend more time understanding customers’ needs.

Our environmental and social progress has been commendable, but I believe that we have underplayed our achievements. We need to communicate more, specifying our goals and detailing a realistic roadmap to deliver. Safety and a target of zero accidents must come first.

We are already well positioned in responsible manufacturing with the work we are doing on renewable energy, waste reduction and addressing the end of life of our products. We can improve by promoting complete transparency in terms of components used and of sourcing along the production chain. Finally, we will continue to seek greater diversity and ensure equal opportunities for women and men.

I believe urgency for action is key to restoring performance. I want to rekindle a sense of urgency and a bias for action while keeping things simple and straightforward. We are in the process of simplifying the organization to improve the speed of execution.
We also plan to embed accountability at every level of the organization, and install a pay-for-performance culture where reward is earned and measured against new KPIs. Here, the implementation of a new remuneration policy is key.

I hope this short introduction has given you a good overview of the direction of travel we intend to take at Ontex. We have strong capabilities on which to build. I am confident in the leadership’s and the company’s commitment to making the necessary changes to support our customers and improve our operating performance and, in doing so, return the company to sustainable top and bottom-line growth and value creation.

Read more about Esther Berrozpe Galindo

2020 in Figures

OUR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Brands pie chart

56% Retailer brands

44% Ontex brands

Divisions pie chart

42% Europe

37% AMEAA

21% Healthcare

Categories pie chart

56% Baby Care

33% Adult care

10% Feminine care

2% Other

healthy and safe working conditions
(frequency rate)

We continue to decrease the number of accidents towards a vision of zero accidents.

2018 9.16
2019 5.86
2020 5.45
Emissions reduction (% VS 2018)

Reduce our absolute scope 1-2 carbon emissions with 50% by 2030 (vs 2018)

Graph

Sustainability

icon responsible consumptionlife on land icon
circular solutions

Our goal: Progress towards a circular business model

icon climate action
CLIMate action

Our goal: Climate neutral operations by 2030

sustainable supply chain

Our goal: Create positive impact in our supply chain and regenerate natural resources

icon responsible consumptionlife on land icon
building trust

Our goal: Transparency and leadership towards a fair society

icon responsible consumptionlife on land icon

Our strategy

Our strategic priorities cover four key areas underpinned by our environmental and social responsibilities and the culture and nature of our organization. In broad terms, our new strategy will entail:

pink dot
pink dot
1 Portfolio focus Simplify the business & product portfolio
2 Customer centricity Strengthen customer relations & restore growth
3 Product innovation Accelerate cadence of innovation
4 Operational excellence Improve cost competitiveness & service levels
hand with plant Environment & Social Strategy based on climate action, circular solutions, building trust and sustainable supply chain
handshake" Organization & Culture Create a winning organization based on strong know-how and values

Retail brands

Institutional markets

Local hero brands

Predictability & Efficiency

Three Divisions and
Industrial Operations

Our commercial activities are organized in three Divisions: Europe, which is predominantly focused on retailer brands; Americas, Middle East Africa and Asia (AMEAA), which is predominantly focused on local brands; and Healthcare which continues to focus on the institutional markets and dedicated incontinence brands.

In addition, Group Manufacturing and Supply Chain are grouped into Industrial Operations, with a focus on production efficiency and customer service excellence.

AR_2020_mockup_print

Download the full report

Open the download center