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Interview with Emmanuel Picot, Chairman and Christian Lefort, Chief Executive Officer

Evolis - E. Picot, Chairman and C.LEfort, Chief executive officer

Emmanuel Picot, Evolis' Chairman and Christian Lefort, Chief executive officer









How would you assess 2017?

Emmanuel Picot: It was a very positive year overall. We transformed the company like never before so that it can become a more integrated and international group. To that end, we revamped our organization structure in several regions, particularly in the Americas and India, but also at head office. One of the highlights of the year 2017 was the change in governance, with the appointment of Christian Lefort as the group’s Chief Executive Officer. At the same time, we have never launched so many products as in the last two years. This mobilized major resources at Evolis, but it was an important task for our group.
Given the substantial efforts on organizational aspects, our sales performance in 2017 was more mixed. We posted a downturn in regions where we currently reorganize our activity. And this downturn weighed on the group’s overall performance. But we feel certain that all we have achieved, organized and transformed provides the group with an extremely positive outlook for the coming years.


Can you tell us about your first year as chief executive officer at evolis?

Christian Lefort: It has been an immense pleasure getting to know the teams. Beyond the pleasure of finding out more about the group, what I have observed at Evolis is a very strong company culture, a very present entrepreneurial spirit, top-level responsiveness, and an ability to take risks so as to move forward. In my first year, I concentrated on the roll-out of the far-reaching transformations that will strengthen Evolis’ global dimension, making it into a totally integrated group. Now we have to build on these investments to develop further still.


Has the structuring been completed?

Emmanuel Picot: We can consider that the transformations initiated are 95% complete, with a certain number of adjustments still to be made. We are a group that continues to evolve. The transformations that we have achieved do not signal the end of the story. Our ambition to make progress will lead us this year and in the years to come to continue our structuring efforts.


How are you addressing the trend towards the dematerialization of cards?

Christian Lefort: Dematerialization clearly has an impact on our traditional markets such as loyalty cards, gift cards and employee badges, even though in most of these markets plastic cards continue to back up digital applications. With regards to the government market, over one billion people still do not possess an official ID document. As for the banking market, two billion people worldwide remain unbanked. The democratization of payment cards is a key objective for countries looking to limit the use of cash in their economies. That being the case, we think plastic cards still have plenty of potential in these two markets. But at Evolis, we are taking things further. We are continuing to extend the fields of application of plastic cards to new areas. Our goal is to shift from identifying people to identifying goods so as to open up new horizons, which is what we did with our new price labeling solution. Lastly, in the government, banking and security markets, a new type of application is emerging: the issue of self-service cards, constituting a high-potential market, especially in Asia. We are well positioned to meet the requirements of our various markets with all the needs-specific products we have launched since 2016.


What are your strategic priorities for the next three years?

Emmanuel Picot: We have started the year with fresh momentum, even though we think our results may be impacted by more unfavorable dollar/euro exchange rates than in the last two years. Our sales strategy for the next three years will capitalize on the two years spent structuring the group and launching products. Our priority focuses will be the projects business, with an emphasis on the banking market, particularly in the Americas, Middle East and Africa regions. Regarding government projects, we are fully on track in the China, India and Latam regions with the product launches of 2016 now producing results. Evolis has also initiated a structural transformation that will change the group’s identity from a 100% card manufacturer to a supplier of identification solutions. Software is becoming increasingly important for the group; the printer will no longer be the center of Evolis’ business activities. Strengthened by this new focus on solutions, we continue to open new distribution networks in the entry-level, mid-range and high-end segments. Our diversification strategy will focus on products, solutions, markets and distribution channels alike, the aim being to meet our target of €100 million by 2020.


“We transformed the company like never before so that it can become a more integrated and international group. Our goal is to shift from identifying people to identifying goods so as to open up new horizons.” Emmanuel Picot