Ravensburg – The Ravensburger Group saw its sales increase by 4.1 % to € 374 million in the past fiscal year.* This was mainly due to the growth of its largest division, “Games, Puzzles and Arts/Crafts”. The bulk of the increase occurred outside Germany, and thanks to the launch of some successful new products, putting Ravensburger ahead of the market once again. The best-selling Ravensburger products in the year under review included “3D Puzzle Buildings”, the audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®”, Disney-licensed children's jigsaws featuring “Frozen”, and “Lovely Loom” jewellery-making kits.
Ravensburger games: surge in foreign sales
Ravensburger's largest division, Games, Puzzles and Arts/Crafts, accounting for 80 % of sales, was up 6.0 % on the previous year at € 303.6 million*. As in previous years, the company outperformed the rest of the games industry in this area, with Ravensburger's five key western European markets** recording a rise of 3.6 % in 2014.
The growth of the Games, Puzzles and Arts/Crafts division differed in the domestic and foreign markets, with sales in Germany rising by 3.0 % to € 126.4 million***. The “3D Puzzle Buildings” series was much in demand, for example, including new products such as the illuminated “Eiffel Tower by Night” or “Neuschwanstein Castle”. The audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®”, which Ravensburger has been continuously expanding over the past four years, saw a further rise in sales in the year under review. The trend product “Lovely Loom”, for making jewellery out of coloured elastic bands, also proved a 2014 bestseller.
On the foreign markets, Ravensburger games made a substantial gain of 8.3 %, to € 177.3 million. This increase was partly due to the high demand for “3D Puzzle Buildings” and “Lovely Loom” jewellery kits. Licensed products were a further source of growth, with Disney-themed puzzles from the box-office hit “Frozen” proving highly popular with children. The US games company Wonder Forge – a Ravensburger affiliate – also contributed significantly to the sales increase. Speaking on the eve of the Nuremberg Toy Fair, chairman of the Ravensburger Group management board Karsten Schmidt said:
“We are entitled to be pleased with our performance, particularly on the foreign markets. This will contribute towards our strategic objective of improving growth outside Germany.”
New sales impetus from hybrid products
For around 10 years, Ravensburger has been among the pioneers of the hybrid product sector. These are electronically assisted games combining the hands-on nature of traditional games with the possibilities of electronics. Alongside long-established products such as “Whoowasit?”, “Catch Hubi!” or the “tiptoi®” series, Ravensburger also launched the new products “smartPLAY” and “Microminds” in 2014. SmartPLAY is a new board game system played in conjunction with a smartphone and an app which explains the rules and acts as a facilitator guiding the user through the game. Microminds is a smartphone game with physical play materials. Hybrid products currently account for 20 % of Ravensburger's toy sales. In Germany, where all its hybrid titles are available, the figure is around 30 %.
Ravensburger books: increased market share
The market for children's and youth books saw a slight dip of 1.7 % in the year under review. The trading revenue achieved by Ravensburger's Children’s and Youth Book division fell by 3.4 % to € 65.7 million* due to the decrease in outlets and reduction of the sales portfolio. Retail sales to the consumer rose by 1.7 %, however, giving Ravensburger a market share of 10.8 % and thus restoring its leading position in the German children's and youth book market. This positive trend was due in large part to the audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®” and the children's non-fiction series “Wieso? Weshalb? Warum?”. Teenage novels such as the “Wolves of the Beyond” by Kathryn Lasky and “Griphony” by Michael Peinkofer also proved successful.
Ravensburger Leisure and Promotion: rising visitor numbers at Spieleland
The Leisure and Promotion Service division grew by 3.7 % to € 13.3 million* in the year under review. The Ravensburger Spieleland theme park belonging to this division attracted 394,000 visitors in the 2014 season – 12.4 % more than the previous year. Numbers were boosted by favourable weather and the new attraction “Here Comes the Mouse!” fronted by the famous German TV character.
* Please note: all figures quoted in the text are provisional. Final sales and earnings figures will be published at the annual results press conference in June 2015.
* G5 countries: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain
*** Includes all products supplied to Germany