Ravensburg – The Ravensburger Group is continuing along its now eight-year long growth track. In the past fiscal year the company increased its turnover in a virtually stable market environment by 4.0 % to 373.2 million euros. Ravensburger achieved this both by geographic expansion and by successful product innovations in the fields of 3D puzzles and the audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®”. Nearly all of Ravensburger’s foreign subsidiaries made substantial contributions to increasing the turnover. In particular the US games company Wonder Forge Inc., Seattle, in which Ravensburger acquired a holding at the end of 2012 in order to strengthen their position on the American market, achieved an above average increase in sales. The Group set the course for further growth at the beginning of the current business year. With the purchase of the highly regarded Swedish toy producer BRIO, Ravensburger plans to increase sales abroad and expand further from the game market into the toy market.
In the past business year, the annual net profit of the Group grew by 4.4 million euros to a total of 37.6 million euros. This corresponded to a return on sales of 10.1% after taxes. The new Chief Financial Officer, Hanspeter Mürle, who has been with Ravensburger since 1 May, announced at the company’s balance sheet press conference in Stuttgart, “Ravensburger has been achieving good results for years. The key financial ratios need not shy away from comparisons. We are a financially healthy, independent company.”
For the current business year 2015, Chairman of the Board Karsten Schmidt expects – without taking the BRIO acquisition into account – “slightly increasing turnover provided that our relevant markets continue to remain stable”.
Ravensburger games and toys – Growth in a stable market environment
Thanks to a special effect – fast-selling, colourful “Loom” bracelets for weaving – the five most important West European games markets*, in which the company achieves the largest share of its sales, grew by 3.6 %. However, Ravensburger’s essential product groups of puzzles and games were unable to participate in this development and stagnated at a level of -1.1 % in these countries.
In this market environment, the largest Ravensburger business division Games, Puzzles, Crafts, increased its turnover by 6.0 % to 303.5 million euros. Demand was driven here by the “3D puzzle buildings” with new products such as the illuminated “Eiffel Tower by Night” or “Neuschwanstein Castle”. The audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®”, which Ravensburger has been expanding continuously for five years now, was able to boost sales figures yet again thanks to successful innovations. In particular the “tiptoi®” animal figures proved to be bestsellers in the first year after their market launch with the “Animal set riding stable”. In combination with the electronic “tiptoi®” pen, the animal figures produce animal sounds, provide information and make suggestions for games.
Sales of Ravensburger toys and games grew differently at home and abroad. In Germany, turnover increased by 3.0 % to 126.4 million euros**. Outside Germany, where Ravensburger sells 58.4 % of its toys and games, the increase in sales was higher, rising by 8.2 % to 177.1 million euros. This was due on the one hand to high-growth innovations that were offered abroad following their initial success in Germany. On the other hand, the holding in the US games company Wonder Forge, which grew substantially in 2014, also played a role.
Ravensburger books – Market leader in the children’s and teenagers’ book market
The German children’s and teenagers’ book market declined by 1.4 % last year due to a drop in sales outlets. Although the Ravensburger division Books for children and adolescents cut down on excess stock and thus reduced turnover by 3.2 % to 65.7 million euros, sales of Ravensburger books to consumers increased by 1.7 %. Ravensburger thus expanded its market share to 10.8 % and regained market leadership among books for children and teenagers. Business proceeded positively above all thanks to the strong demand for the audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®” and the children’s’ non-fiction series “Wieso? Weshalb? Warum?” In addition, the publishing division has been expanding its story-telling programme more strongly since last year. Novels for teenagers such as the “Wolves of the Beyond” series by Kathryn Lasky, or “Gryphony” by Michael Peinkofer sold well.
Ravensburger Freizeit und Promotion (Leisure and Promotion): More visitors come to Spieleland
The Freizeit und Promotion division increased its turnover in the past business year by 3.7 % to 13.3 million euros. This was due above all to the fact that in the 2014 season, the number of visitors to the leisure park Ravensburger Spieleland grew by 12.4 % to 394,000. Both the new fairground ride “Here comes the mouse!”, which arrived at Spieleland with the famous TV mascot, and good park weather attracted more guests last year.
* G5 countries: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, source: NPD Group Panel
**includes all products delivered to Germany