Ravensburg – The Ravensburger Group increased its turnover by 3.3 % to 330 million euros in the last financial year. The Group managed to achieve this expansion even though the toy market in Western Europe* and the market for children’s and youth books in Germany shrank slightly. Innovative products, some made with novel manufacturing technologies, allowed Ravensburger to buck the market trend and grow. For instance “3D building set puzzles”and the audio-digital educational game series “tiptoi®” made the strongest contributions to boosting company sales.
The Group’s net income rose from 24.7 million euros to 33.5 million euros. This was attributable not only to the increase in sales, but also to the significantly improved product mix and to cost-saving measures. Consequently a return on sales of 10.2 % after tax was achieved. The equity ratio amounted to 64.3 %. Management Board Chairman Karsten Schmidt said at the group’s balance sheet press conference, “Considering the market situation we can look back on a good business year. The innovations course followed by the company is paying off.”
Ravensburger games and puzzles – sales rise against the market trend
For the first time in eight years the five key toy markets in Western Europe*, in which the company sells around three quarters of its toys, registered a slight decline of 1.9 % in total sales in 2012. The toy market only grew in Germany – by 3.2 %. Altogether consumer uncertainty against the background of the macroeconomic situation was perceptible in Europe. The trade too operated cautiously and reduced stocks.
Despite this, Ravensburger’s largest business division Games, Puzzles, Crafts, accounting for 78 % of sales boosted its turnover by 3.7 % last year to 257.8 million euros. This increase was attributable above all to the high growth rates of the product innovations. The audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®” was the company’s bestseller with 2.7 million units crossing the counter. Second place was attained by the “3D building set puzzle” series which Ravensburger is producing with a new manufacturing technique.
Ravensburger toys grew more strongly abroad, where roughly half the turnover is achieved. This was due in particular to the growth drivers “tiptoi®” and “3D building set puzzles”, which were offered outside Germany too for the first time in 2012. The division’s sales there rose by 4.3 % to 140.3 million euros, and on the home market by 2.9 % to 117.5 million euros.
Ravensburger books – shrinking market and delivery bottlenecks lead to lower sales
The German market for children’s and adolescents’ books shrank slightly by 1.8 % last year. The trade reduced stocks and ordered cautiously, anticipating uncertain Christmas sales. This development also affected the Ravensburger Books for Children and Adolescents division, which additionally experienced delivery difficulties with some top titles for which there was strong demand. As a consequence the division’s sales dipped by 2.7 % to 68.2 million euros.
Ravensburger Freizeit und Promotion (Leisure and Promotion) – Spieleland reports 9.7 % increase in visitor numbers
The last business year saw sales by the Leisure and Promotion division climb by 11.4 % to 9.8 million euros. This was due above all to the good season enjoyed by Ravensburger Spieleland. Thanks to new attractions and ideal park weather with middling temperatures, the number of guests rose by 31,000 to almost 350,000 visitors. A project ordered by the City of Kornwestheim for a children’s leisure centre, “Ravensburger Kinderwelt Kornwestheim”, also contributed to the division’s growth.
Ravensburger develops high-tech production technology for 3D puzzles
The first Ravensburger 3D puzzle made of plastic parts appeared nine years ago and created a small sensation – a puzzleball® consisting of curved pieces that could be joined together in self-supporting fashion without any glue and still produce a stable form. Ravensburger quickly expanded the successful 3D puzzles to a product segment that has since contributed substantially to company sales. It became necessary to create attractive new product forms for this key segment.
With a team of experts, Ravensburger therefore developed a new production method for 3D puzzles made of plastic. It combines precision injection moulding technology with digital printing, which supplies high image quality in a single production workflow. This results in high quality fabrication coupled with high production speeds. The new production process was started up in 2011 and the output last year alone was over 500 million puzzle pieces.
A new product was developed on the basis of this new technology – the “3D building set puzzle” with landmarks from the world’s great cities in model format, such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Brandenburger Gate or Tower Bridge. Not only curved pieces, but also a new kind of articulated puzzle piece with a hinge make it possible to piece together the structures with precision and stability. The new series became a market success right from the start.
* G5-countries: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, source: NPD Group Panel