TNT Global Manufacturing, specialized in high value-added packaging components for fragrance, is boosting its presence in make-up and skincare. In a sneak preview from a feature interview in Formes de Luxe's summer issue, Thomas Diezinger, President of TNT Global Manufacturing France and Toby Cattermole, Managing Director talk about weathering the crisis and projects on the horizon.
How is the group coming out of the crisis?
TC: We cushioned the impact of the crisis rather well in terms of TNT Group’s 2020 turnover, despite the 35% decline in sales over the €35m reported in 2019, which was an excellent year. Sales were on the rise at the end of 2019, but it all came to a standstill in March. Like the rest of the market, we had little to no visibility, customers were no longer placing orders as they were in a massive destocking mode and the factories didn't have much to do. There was a hiatus from about March to September and then from September on, business began picking up again.
TD: Given that our activity has become more mature, we are more serene than we were in 2018, for example, because we know that our foundation is solid. And although our order book is dynamic in the short term, it’ll take us about two years to return to the levels of our group turnover in 2019.
Did you put any projects into place during the slowdown?
TC: Most importantly, we didn’t lay off any staff; we knew that there would be an "after" and wanted to maintain the team dynamic that we’ve been building for several years already. On the business side, we were more solicited by small niche brands, which have remained highly agile during the crisis. Thomas and I also did some introspection concerning the group structure.
TD: Orders and deliveries were on hold, but projects were not. As an engineering company, our role is to design the most elaborate packaging possible, and this part of our activity never slowed down.
Today’s market is tending towards mono-material, recycled products, and less towards heavy, multi-material parts. How do you tackle this?
TD: For us, eco-design is all about products that can be refilled or reloaded, which is the result of engineering expertise. In terms of materials, zamak is our material of choice due to its density and cold touch, which are markers of luxury. Eco-design needs to take into account the product’s entire life cycle, and a zamak cap, for example, can remain with a fragrance bottle through many lives.
We are clearly seeing a paradigm shift for all things refillable. Five years ago, lipsticks could be refillable, but this was not the rule. Today, a pack’s ability to be refilled has become a key criterion, especially since more of our clients are luxury and/or niche brands that work on collections. They rely on the pack lasting through time and its components are seen as objects in their own right.
See the summer issue of Formes de Luxe for the full interview.