May. 2, 2022


Brahim Laroui

Morocco

Brahim Laroui

CEO, Lesieur Cristal Morocco

Lesieur Cristal plans to make Morocco the main platform for its development on the African continent given the resources at its disposal.

BIO

Brahim Laroui has nearly 30 years of experience mainly in consumer products. A graduate of Dauphine University, he started his career at P&G in 1991, then in PepsiCo and Coca-Cola in several regions such as Morocco, North Africa, Near East, Germany, and sub-Saharan Africa. He returned to Morocco in 2011, when he completed his professional experience in the packaging industry (Can-Pack) and then in agriculture (Domaines Agricoles) before joining Brasseries du Maroc. In July 2021, he joined Lesieur Cristal group as CEO.


Lesieur Cristal Morocco reported that its half-yearly revenue in 2021 is almost stable compared to 2020. What are your thoughts on the pandemic and the current market?

The impact of the pandemic on our business has been significant; it affected the overall purchasing power of Moroccan consumers because it also impacted unemployment. The pandemic also created new costs related to health and safety, and all the necessary precautions must now be taken. The way we work has become more complicated. The tax system was also impacted by an increase in taxes in Morocco. From an international point of view, the pandemic impacted global travel, transport, and flows, with significantly higher prices. Consequently, there is a set of economic data that directly impacts our activity, affected too by the pandemic. Our revenues are stable, which indicates that our results are declining because we raised our prices to compensate for the price increase of raw materials. By doing so, we are inflating the sales revenue per unit, and if this remains stable, it means that we are declining in terms of volume. The market was undergoing a shrinkage in volume during the first half of the year.

How is your business model balanced between electronic and traditional forms of commerce?

We use heavily traditional circuits where digital is only used to communicate with consumers and customers. We do not have a home delivery system yet, though it is something that we plan to implement in the future. Digitalization is a reality that no one can escape from, and it will result in optimizing the flow of goods. Through digital consumption, a customer can order and get what they need delivered to them. Thanks to digitalization, the relationship between producer and final consumer will become much more direct.

Lesieur Cristal Morocco is part of the multinational Avril Group. What are the advantages of this relationship, especially at an international level?

Avril is a group that is highly diversified and is present in different businesses, grouped around one promise: to serve the world. It wants to bring agri-food solutions to consumers or to processors, all the while respecting the environment. Present in France and abroad in sectors as diverse as food for human consumption, animal nutrition and expertise, renewable energies, and green chemistry, Avril relies on a portfolio of market-leading recognized brands such as Lesieur and Taous in Morocco. For nearly 40 years, the group has remained faithful to its original mission: to feed people and animals and preserve the planet. Faced with the current challenges of the climate emergency and the demographic growth that is putting a strain on resources, Avril has chosen to reaffirm its power to act. Through six commitments, the group outlines its ambition to become the leader in plant processing solutions, serving the agricultural, nutritional, and environmental transitions. The fact that Lesieur Cristal Morocco is assigned to a group with such strong orientation and know-how presents us with a real opportunity. This environmental orientation is also the orientation of our Moroccans shareholders who have an influence over the way we see the business. Avril opens up opportunities regarding knowledge exchange on international mechanisms, mostly with Europeans, and it allows us to complete our orientation toward the international market. We are present in four businesses: edible oil, olive oil, soap making, and margarine. We want to develop these businesses further through local implementation or exports. We will also develop other businesses and discover more opportunities. Before 2021, Lesieur Cristal exported mostly to Africa; however, we have agreed to acquire Avril’s assets in Africa in order to make Morocco the main platform for development on the African continent. Thanks to Avril, we are part of a group that respects the environment, and we can learn from them and complete our knowledge on other businesses. ✖

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