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BIC Managing Director Retires After 40 Years

MELBOURNE, Australia, 11th April/ MediaNet International-AsiaNet/ -- Mr Mitchell will continue to serve as Chairman of the board after Michael Scales, who has been promoted to the managing director position, assumes his responsibilities.

Mr Scales joined BIC two years ago as National Sales & Marketing Director and since then has also become a Director of BIC New Zealand.

In his new position Mr Scales is looking forward to leading an exciting customer service campaign.

The restructure following John's retirement presents an opportunity to take a detailed look at the sales and marketing area which has experienced a high degree of centralisation among customers in both Australia and New Zealand.

"The consolidation and rationalisation of our customer base is occurring at a rapid rate, not only within the Australian and New Zealand market, but also trans-Tasman, and one of the challenges is to develop best practices in both operations to better meet these new market dynamics," Mr Scales said.

In Australia, this restructure will concentrate on realigning sales team resources to more fully meet individual customer needs.

"It's really part of an overall campaign designed to better service our existing customers and market requirements, and work with them in presenting and bringing to the market products that satisfy their customer needs," Mr Scales said.

The campaign will see the introduction of new writing instruments, up-market lighters, Wite Out correction products, new and exciting shaver range and a new Sheaffer line of products.

"From a new product development point of view, this is a very exciting time for the BIC brands with the introduction of an extensive range of new products that meet emerging consumer trends within each of its major business categories.

"The innovative moves extend across all our major brands that encompass the BIC brand of writing instruments, shavers and lighters to the Sheaffer fine writing instruments, and Wite Out corrections products," Mr Scales said.

"We're conscious of the fact that we face a tough economic and retail environment but are confident that the BIC household name will continue to flourish.

"The foundations have been laid by John's hard work and determination and in taking over where he left off I realise there's a high level of customer service tradition which I have to live up to and further."

Mitchell retires after serving as Australia's managing director for nearly 20 years, a period in which BIC achieved leading market shares in both Australia and New Zealand for stationery products, lighters and shavers.

ENDS

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