Industry: France’s oldest record pressing factory MPO raises €6 million to face the “vinyl revival”

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© Stelios Kazazis

Based in Villaines-la-Juhel, Atlantic France, the company MPO has been dedicated to music and vinyl manufacturing since its creation in 1957. After years of economic uncertainty, this family-run industrial firm is now growing fast thanks to the “vinyl revival”. 

With 30 vinyl presses, MPO International (for Moulage Plastique de l’Ouest or Plastic Moulding of the West in English) manages to press around 1.5 million vinyl records each month in its manufacturing facilities located in Mayenne. It relies on 630 employees including 500 in France and has an annual turnover of €80 million. 

Planned recruitment in 2021 to face increased sales of vinyls

Taking advantage of its expertise in vinyl record pressing, MPO went into CD manufacturing in the 80s and then DVD and Blu Ray pressing, but also packaging. At its peak, MPO owned 72 presses but had to get rid of most of them while MP3 emerged as the mainstream file format for sharing music. But since 2010, vinyl records have sparked the interest of music aficionados and sales have increased. 

Since August 2020, the firm has witnessed a growth of 50% in order volumes compared  to the prior year. Interviewed by Les Echos, the CEO of MPO International Alban Pingeot mentions a “sales explosion”. “We just signed global, strategic contracts with a major label” he explains, “and we must increase our production capacities by 30% before September and hire 30 more workers.

Consequently, the company obtained €6 million of funding from its shareholders, including the Atlantic France regional fund Pays de la Loire Croissance. 

A certified French Living Heritage Company

In France, the vinyl market is profitable. According to the 2019 report of the French National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (SNEP), vinyls account for 20% of physical music market revenue in France. 

The firm which was created in 1957 by pioneers Pierre and Monique Tyrel de Poix in their home in Villaines-la-Juhel has become one of Europe’s biggest and oldest pressing facilities. This 60-year-old expertise has allowed MPO to be labeled a Living Heritage Company. This certification recognizes the excellence of the firm’s industrial and traditional skills. 

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