French electronics for individuals has found champions

Posted on September 26, 2022 at 15:50

French Tech, French touch or French luxury. By completing a €50 million fundraiser a few weeks ago, Devialet has given itself the wherewithal to accelerate into Asian markets where the croaking of its audio speakers is already causing a stir. “We have done studies, if we made our products manufactured in China, Devialet would have less appeal in China,” says its CEO, Franck Lebouchard, not wanting to assume the role of champion of French electronics for individuals after the setbacks of his former glories, the sector recovers in any case.

But Devialet is not the only one today capable of making us forget the disappointments of Archos -the French pioneer of MP3 players weighed down by the competition after a turn towards Android smartphones-, of Parrot -now turned towards professional drones- and to a lesser extent Netatmo. Bought by Legrand, the connected thermostats and other video surveillance cameras remain a hit, but the company has also had to develop an indirect sales model through electricians. Among the French consumer electronics “stars” of the 2000s and 2010s, only Withings and its connected objects for health continue to develop directly with consumers, after a purchase and then a resale by Nokia.

Focal opens stores around the world

But other success stories are being written. A historic specialist in French Hi-Fi sound, Focal and its 500 employees have made the most of the post-lockdown boom in the interior equipment market. Last year, the Saint-Etienne company saw its turnover jump to 144 million euros compared to 110 million euros in 2019, including the British brand Naim. The benefits (Ebitda) have almost doubled in two years (24 million euros).

Acquired by the Alpha Private Equity fund in 2019, the group allows itself a big difference consisting of making its most accessible devices more accessible (below 1,000 euros per helmet) while multiplying by three the average price at which it sells its products. more than 20,000 euros for an audio speaker.

At the same time, Focal is developing a network of boutiques around the world. Twenty-five are already open in Lyon, Cannes, Berlin, Shanghai, Seoul and even Melbourne. More than a dozen are already planned, for example in Dubai. “In Prague, our partner in the genre of the million-euro boutique of chicffre d’affaires de Focal produit l’an dernier quand il n’en vendait pour 50,000 euros in a multi-brand environment”, Cédrick Boutonnet, greeted managing Director.

Cross call, relocation in progress

With a turnover of 140 million euros, Crosscall has made a name for itself as the champion of “made in France” in smartphones. But unlike the Wiko brand, which sells Chinese devices claiming its Marseille roots, Crosscall has chosen to turn its back on factories in the Middle Kingdom to relocate its production of ultra-rugged smartphones (for law enforcement and construction professionals) in Aix-en-Provence.

The project is underway: prototyping and testing are already underway not far from Lavender de Provence before accessories and smartphones follow suit.

Luna conquering the world

More modest, Lunii and their little interactive story boxes for kids Start your conquest of the world. The company, its audiobook publisher and its 94 employees recorded 20% of its revenues internationally last year and are aiming for €30 million in turnover in 2022.

Specialized in desktop audio headsets, Orosound, for its part, manufactures its products in Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine) and Granville (Manche) for renowned clients such as Morgan Stanley and Disneyland Paris. With 2 million euros, its turnover could double this year. International already represents 40% of income.

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