Intercos: profile, balance sheet data and strategy of the Euronext Milan freshman

Intercos: profile, balance sheet data and strategy of the Euronext Milan freshman
Intercos: profile, balance sheet data and strategy of the Euronext Milan freshman

Intercos is one of the main business to business operators in the production and marketing of cosmetic and skin treatment products, as well as for hair and body treatment.

After the numerous placements in Euronext Growth Milan (formerly AIM Italia) in recent months, the main segment of Borsa Italiana (Euronext Milan, the former MTA) has also received a new registration. It is about Intercos, that it made its debut in Piazza Affari on November 2, 2021 following the placement of approximately 25.4 million sharesi, of which 3.5 million newly issued deriving from a capital increase with the exclusion of the option right. The remaining 21.9 million was put on the market by the current shareholders. As part of the transaction, BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Jefferies acted as joint global coordinators.

The placement price of Intercos shares was set at 12.5 euros, with a capitalization of the initial company of approximately € 1.2 billion (figure including the € 43.75 million capital increase).

Based on the placement price the EV / EBITDA ratio (based on the adjusted EBITDA recorded in 2020) and equal to about 15.3; the P / E ratio (based on post-increase capitalization and profit excluding minority interest in 2020) is 31.2. In the information note, Intercos provided the same parameters for some listed companies (Kerry Group, Givaudan, International Flavors & Fragrances, Symrise, L’Oreal, Estée Lauder, Shiseido and Beiersdorf) operating in comparable or related sectors based on the capitalization at the date of 7 October 2021. In particular, the average EV / EBITDA multiple was indicated at 27.2, with a minimum of 14.3 for Beiersdorf and a maximum of 40.4 for Shiseido).


Intercos is one of the main business to business (B2B) operators globally in the creation, production and marketing of cosmetic products (color cosmetics or make up) and for the treatment of the skin (skincare), as well as for the treatment of hair and body (hair & body), intended for the main national and international brands, emerging brands, as well as retailers active in the cosmetics and, more generally, beauty markets.

In detail, Intercos operates through three lines of business:

  • Make Up: specialized in the creation, research, development, production and marketing of powder products for the face and eyes, foundations, lipsticks, mascara, nail polishes and delivery systems, the latter used for the face, eyes and lip.
  • Skincare: specialized in the creation, research, development, production and marketing of cosmetic and dermocosmetic creams, serums, lotions.
  • Hair&Body: specialized in the creation, creation and research of hair and body care products, in which the group has been active since the second half of 2017, following the acquisition of the Cosmint group.

Furthermore, Intercos operates second two different business models:

  • full outsourcing: is the historical business model of Intercos, adopted by the Make Up and Skincare business units and, recently, partially replicated also in the Hair & Body business unit. This model is based on the identification of market trends and on the innovation of formulas and production technology to develop innovative products, the property of which remains with the group, destined to enter the actual production process only following customer orders.
  • contract manufacturing: is the historical business model of Cosmint, therefore adopted by the Hair & Body business unit (and, to a lesser extent, by the Make Up and Skincare activities already carried out by Cosmint). This model is based on production based on formulas owned by the customer (or third parties), therefore the group receives the technology from the customer and transfers them to its own plants, coordinating the typical phases of the supply chain and production.

Intercos management reported that before the listing the group counted among its major customers 24 of the 30 main operators in the cosmetic industry related to the color cosmetics, skincare and hair & body care markets, as well as being partners of retailers and emerging brands.


Intercos provided some financial data relating to 2020 and the first half of 2021.

In detail, the company finished last year with revenues for 606.51 million euros, down by 14.9% compared to the 712.17 million obtained the previous year, following the general economic context caused by the pandemic which led to a reduction in revenues. In particular, Intercos recorded a greater contraction in revenues in the Make Up business unit (-21.2%), due to the lockdown measures, social distancing and the obligation to wear masks. The gross operating margin which fell by 23.4%, from 110.27 million to 84.46 million euros; consequently, the marginality it fell from 15.5% to 13.9%. L’EBITDA adjusted was equal to 86.95 million euros, with a margin of 14.3%. Intercos ended 2020 with a Net income (excluding minority interests) of 38.42 million euros, compared to 43.01 million recorded the previous year.

In the first six months of 2021 Intercos revenues increased by 13.4% to 314.61 million euros, following the economic recovery (facilitated by the reopening and progress of vaccination campaigns undertaken around the world) and the consolidation of Intercos Korea. The gross operating margin rose from 37.56 million to 37.83 million euros (+ 0.7%), with a margin of 12%; the adjusted gross operating margin was 44.08 million (margin of 14%). The company ended the half year with a net profit (excluding minority interests) of € 17.46 million, compared to € 23.51 million recorded in the first half of last year, a figure which included an extraordinary item (profit from investments in equity investments) of 11.7 million euros.

At the end of June 2021 the indebitamento netto of Intercos had dropped to 174.52 million euros, compared to 194.03 million at the beginning of the year. The management reported that the change is mainly attributable to the lower financial exposure towards credit institutions following the partial repayment of some tranches of the senior loan agreement, the partial repayment of the pooled loan agreement with IntesaSanpaolo and UniCredit (covered by SACE guarantee) and short-term credit lines by the subsidiaries.

During 2020 Intercos carried out investments for 41.5 million euros, mainly in tangible fixed assets. In the first half of 2021, the company’s investments totaled 17.43 million. Intercos specified that, prior to the listing on the Milan Stock Exchange, contractual commitments had been made with third parties for 5.87 million euros for investments mainly in software and plant and machinery to be built on the national territory.


In the document of admission to the quotations Intercos indicated that on 19 October 2021 the board of directors approved a dividend distribution policy in which the objective of proposing the distribution of dividends for one amount between 30% and 40% of the net profit attributable to the group, starting from the financial year ended 31 December 2022.

Intercos specified that the distribution of the dividend is subject to the strategic investment plans of the group (including any acquisition and merger transactions), to the maintenance of the balance of the group’s financial structure and to compliance with the covenants envisaged by the group’s loan agreements. .

The company did not distribute any dividends during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.


In the document admitting the shares to Euronext, Milan Intercos indicated that it intends to strengthen its share in the reference market, leveraging its positioning as “best-in-class innovator” and therefore pursuing its strategy devoted toinnovation and diversification of the product range in the Make Up, Skincare and Hair & Body segments, in order to anticipate market trends and meet the expectations of end consumers of any generation and geographical area.

Intercos strategy is aimed at increase revenues and margins in the three market segments in which the group is active (Make Up, Skincare and Hair & Body), through organic growth initiatives.

Intercos intends, where possible, to continue to develop also through external channels which allow it to continue to expand its geographical presence in countries of future importance such as, for example, India and Southeast Asia. Any acquisitions will allow Intercos to consolidate positions in existing markets, where there are interests linked to business complementarity and / or potential synergies of scale, as well as to expand its production capacity where necessary.

Intercos intends to finance its organic growth through the financial resources generated by the group’s operating activities. With reference to growth by external lines, the company will evaluate from time to time the opportunity to use the financial resources generated by the operating activity or to request loans from third parties.

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