Top Companies Report

27. McBride

August 2, 2013

United Kingdom

Sales: $1.2 billion

Key Personnel: Chris Bull, chief executive officer; Richard Armitage, chief finance officer; Colin McIntyre, chief operating officer; Grzegorz Krol, chief commercial officer; Matthias Kreysel, chief R&D officer; Tim Seaman, strategic development director.

Major Products: Household care (dishwash, laundry care, household cleaners, air care) and personal care (hair care, baby care, body products, shaving products, oral care and skin care). Brands include Surcare, Clean ‘n Fresh, Oven Pride, Lime Lite, Clean Right, Actiff, Cobra, Bonaria, Isabel Yplon, Avea.

New Products: Soluble laundry sachets, antibacterial household cleaners featuring Byotrol 24-hour germ-killing technology, hair care ranges in France and Poland.

Comments: Sales rose 1% for the year ended June 30, 2012, after McBride reported flat results in fiscal 2011. The results are less than stellar for a company that calls itself the largest private label maker in Europe—at a time when unemployment in Europe affects more than 10% of the population and folks are watching their euros and pounds more than ever.

Still, the company maintains that private label outperformed branded sales in the UK household category, while private label shares in France and Italy also climbed. Now the company is expanding into Central and Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, as sales in developing and emerging markets rose 6% last year, led by a 23% gain in Poland and a 32% gain in Vietnam.

A year ago, McBride reorganized to eliminate divisional structures to create a leaner organization. During that time, the company identified three core growth categories (laundry liquids, machine dishwashing and specialist cleaners) as well as four categories that should provide longer-term growth opportunities (skin care, male grooming, mouthwash and non-aerosol air fresheners). To make the most of these opportunities, the company is focused around group commercial, operations and R&D functions. At the same time, the company is expanding its centers of excellence from four to eight, which will cover all of its household and personal care categories. These centers are focused on developing patent-protected technology and formula optimization.

For the six months ended Dec.  31, 2012, sales fell 11% to $611 million due, primarily, to a reduction in contract manufacturing. Private label sales rose 2% during the period. By region, sales in the UK fell 6% and sales in Western Europe dropped 17%. Sales in the rest of the world, however, jumped 22%.