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Yves Rocher grandson takes family behind the brand into billionaire status

By Michelle Yeomans , 25-Jan-2013

Despite only taking over his grandfather’s French beauty firm three years ago, Bris Rocher has brought the family behind the cosmetics giant to billionaire status, as sales top $3 (€2.3) billion in 2012.

Taking the reins

On stepping into the leading position, Forbes magazine says Bris consolidated the business by buying back 19.3 per cent of the firm from Sanofi, to which the transaction was valued in excess of $1.8 (€1.3) billion, based on the pharmaceutical company’s financial disclosures in 2012.

As it stands now, the Rocher family owns 96 per cent of the group, which includes a range of perfume and beauty brands. “That stake alone gives the Rocher clan, which includes an uncle and cousins, an estimated net worth of $1.7 (€1.2) billion,” the business magazine estimated.  

Euromonitor places the cosmetic giant second only to L’Oreal in terms of market share in France and of the 2012 $3 (€2.3) billion profits in sales, 63 per cent is said to have come from outside, with Russia and Germany being the top importers, according to a recent report by ‘Women’s Wear Daily Beauty’.

Going forward, Forbes reckons the young billionaire’s focus in terms of sales strategy, will be to “see if Yves Rocher can replicate its famously successful mail order business online” as Rocher senior started out by selling an ointment based on the locally-grown celadine flower in this way.

Staple in the cosmetics industry

On Rocher senior dying at the age of 79 in 2009 following a stroke, Bris then just 31, stepped up from his position of vice-president pledging to maintain the values of the group that his grandfather spent over 50 years developing.

The business was established in Gacilly, in the North West of France, and was built around the formulation of botanical extracts, creating one of the world’s first mainstream producers of natural-based cosmetic products.

It flourished and Yves Rocher retired in 1992, handing over the business to his son Didier in 1992. However, he went back to running the business when his son died in 1994 and eventually made Bris Rocher vice-president in 2007.

The company also has a strong worldwide presence and is available in 88 countries, represented by brands such as Daniel Jouvance, Pierre Ricaud and Petit Bateau, together with the Yves Rocher brand.

 

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