Xavier Guichard

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Xavier Guichard
Groupe Manutan
CEO

2019: Over the past six years of his tenure, CEO of France-based workplace and facilities supplies reseller Xavier Guichard has presided over the company’s continued growth.

2019 sales growth for the reseller have been in the low single digits, but this doesn’t include the results of Netherlands-based e-commerce business Kruizinga, which Manutan acquired in June. The firm has revenues of around €25 million ($28 million) and serves markets in Germany and Belgium, as well as its home territory.

The addition of Kruizinga to the portfolio will not only strengthen Manutan’s position in Benelux, but also fits nicely with its strategic focus on digital transformation by enhancing e-commerce and digital service capabilities.

2018: Manutan CEO Xavier Guichard has been in charge of the France-based workplace and MRO reseller for the past five years, overseeing impressive growth over this time.

Sales have continued to increase in all its reporting regions so far this year, with Eastern Europe showing double-digit growth.

According to the company, it is still in the process of implementing its development strategy which includes searching for external growth targets and a determined focus on its B2B e-commerce operations.

The reseller is also pursuing its medium-term investments in technology, product offering, supply chain and the development of its employees.

2017: This year has continued where 2016 left off for France-based workplace and facilities supplies reseller Manutan International as, buoyed by the positive economic climate in the eurozone, solid top-line growth has been accompanied by strong double-digit growth in operating profit.

Operating in 17 European markets, Manutan’s sales in 2017 are expected to be around €700 million, with H1 sales up in the mid-single digits and a nice uptick in operating margins. CEO Xavier Guichard says margins have been boosted by the development of private label products and direct sourcing from the Far East, two areas where he sees further potential for growth.

Manutan’s 2020 strategic plan includes the digital transformation of the company. This not only means encouraging more online sales – now about 50% of the total – but digitising internal and customer-facing processes such as product returns. In order to develop its own solutions, Manutan has also set up its own Digital Lab.

There has also been a push in the education sector following the 2015 acquisition in France of school supplier Papeteries Pichon. Recent initiatives include the creation of an online school supplies list and a classroom refurbishment service that caters to modern teaching methods.

2016: It has been a good year for European workplace and facilities supplier Manutan with organic growth of 4% and acquisitions taking sales in the 12 months to the end of September 2016 to over €680 million ($745 million).

The 2015 acquisition of Papeteries Pichon – a French supplier of school supplies to the local public sector – was followed by a move in 2016 for Essex Electrical Wholesalers, a £4 million ($5 million) UK specialist distributor of electrical trade supplies.

The launch of a new value-added, collaborative service offering to large corporate customers has begun to take shape. This includes working with clients to help them streamline their indirect purchasing costs; as part of this initiative, Manutan recently launched a video blog aimed at this customer group.

Private label expansion is another important strategy for Manutan. The company launched its own range of Manutan-branded products in 2016, with around 700 SKUs in eight product categories.

2015/16: €650 million ($720 million) European MRO and workplace supplies reseller Manutan has got back on track in the past year or so after a difficult couple of years. The company returned to organic sales growth in the first quarter of its 2015/2016 financial year, while comparable full-year 2014/2015 sales were virtually flat.

Manutan has made regular acquisitions over the past 20 years since it was first listed on the Paris stock market, and in 2015 it bought Papeteries Pichon, a French supplier of school supplies, which strengthened its leading position in the local public sector segment in its home market.

2015 was also notable for the completion of the deployment of a new Microsoft AX information system in seven countries – a project that took almost two years – and the launch of a new value-added, collaborate service offering to large corporate customers.

The company launched its own range of Manutan-branded products in January 2016, with around 700 SKUs in eight product categories.