HISTORY OF PAVAILLER EQUIPEMENT SA, VALANCE, FRANCE
Acquired in March 1980 as part of the move to develop a broader presence in the international bakery market, Pavailler SA designed and manufactured in France and Italy a range of machinery and ovens for small 'artisan' bakeries. – specialising in the production of French bread, particularly the "baguette". and also had a substantial export business to Africa and the Middle East.. Pavailler and its subsidiaries had 700 employees of whom 600 were in France. Its turnover in the nine months ended 30th September 1979 was FF 136m with profit after tax of FF 5.7m. Annual sales were about £20m. The balance of shares – 15.23% - not acquired at the time was purchased in June 1983.
Pavailler's Port-les-Valence factory was expanded to a 6,000square metre production unit in a three-year FF13m investment programme that was completed in 1982. This coincided with the award of the diploma "Prestige de la France" – presented to organisations and commercial enterprises that have left their mark on the economic and social history of France. An Open Day was held for employees, friends and families to mark the award.
The President and managing director of Pavailler S.A., Robert Liabeuf died suddenly in February 1982. He was succeeded by Denis Vautrin. Daniel Boffy was appointed general manager and Michel Rivet as assistant general manager.
1984 brought good progress in Canada but disappointing growth in the USA. Sales improved in Japan and Belgium but it proved difficult to gain a foothold in Germany. The general market move towards frozen dough and refrigerated dough products presented growth potential for Societe Nouvelle FIMA both in France and in North America.
Pavailler S.A. was transformed into the holding company for the sub-group in 1985 with the manufacturing and sales operation being re-named Pavailler Equipement. Also in 1985, a small workshop for the assembly and electrical wiring of equipment sold to Canada and the USA was opened in Montreal, Canada..
In the year ending March 1986, although Pavailler's sales volume increased, consolidated results remained modest. The most important factor in this was the high costs of developing the North American market which produced disappointingly low sales.
At around this time, Pavailler employed a total of 700 people, 423 in production and administration, 277 in sales and after-sales service. Of these, 540 worked for Pavailler S.A. and 36 were employed in the overseas sales offices.
Pavailler S.A., the holding company for the Pavailler sub-group, moved its offices to Saint Marcel-les-Valances in June 1986 and four months later, Pavailler Equipment S.A. closed its offices and factory in Bourg-les- Valence and operated solely from the Portes-les-Valence premises. At the same time a new system of manufacturing based on a 'just in time' method was introduced, effected by adopting a computerised programme utilising an integrated network of personal computers.
The 1989 APV Annual Report stated that APV Pavailler "continued to develop and made its first profit for three years". During 1990 the company "maintained the profit improvement reported in 1989". 1992 saw Pavailler suffering from a weak domestic market, a collapse in export markets, high distribution and manufacturing cots and intense competition. This continued into 1993 with the company reporting a loss. Action was taken to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
APV completed the disposal of Pavailler in 1994.
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