The Ravensburger publishing house was able to increase its sales by over 20 percent compared to the previous year. The company reported 632 million euros and achieved above-market growth, especially in the major European toy markets in France, Italy, Spain and Great Britain. The global pandemic is not least responsible for the success - but the publisher also celebrated success with its classic games.
Ravensburger was able to achieve the highest growth in Great Britain as well as in North America and Scandinavia. In Germany, the publishing house also developed with double-digit growth. CEO Clemens Maier: “The past year was characterized by spending time with my family. Board games and educational items for children were particularly in demand, along with relaxation products. We are very happy that we were able to support many people with our offer to find a balance from everyday life, especially in the crisis situation. ”To put it less flowery: The corona pandemic and the associated restrictions have many consumers worldwide to games, books and let toys be grabbed.
Board game classics as draft horses
Frequent gamers will probably turn up their noses, furrow their foreheads and clap their hands over their heads, because Ravensburger impressively demonstrates one thing above all with its sales: In the games of the past few months, classics have been particularly popular.
It's not a coincidence. With board games, the entry hurdle is low - anyone can join in, quickly, without having to study the rules for a long time. This brings families together. And: The games are often linked to memories of shared experiences or one's own childhood, because some of the classics have been around for decades. According to Ravensburger, 2020 million copies of the “The Crazy Labyrinth” product family were sold in 1,2 alone. In its various variants, Memory was even sold more than two million times.
For the Ravensburger-Group, “Games” is the largest category, and the growth figures are correspondingly strong: around 22 percent was increased compared to the previous year. Anyone who is happy about the supposedly huge edition of a successful Kickstarter board game will be amazed at the Ravensburger figures presented: A total of 25 million games were sold.
The current year is also likely to be successful, because the pandemic is continuing and will continue to ensure good toy sales – even if it does not produce much else that is positive. Ravensburger is continuing the classic trend and is celebrating the anniversaries of a number of successful games, including "Sagaland" (40 years) and "Lotti Karotti" (20 years).
Sales of the “ThinkFun” brand of mind and logic games increased by more than 33 percent, measured by the number of pieces. The top product was the game “Gravity Maze”, which required imagination and logical thinking, selling more than 475.000 units. Ravensburger is no less successful in the area of puzzles. 28 million copies went from Ravensburg to over 70 countries. That is around 32 percent more than in the previous year. Personalized jigsaw puzzles also experienced a boom: according to the company, the demand for individually manufactured jigsaw puzzles has almost quadrupled. 3D puzzles are also benefiting from this trend: the best-selling product last year was the model of the Lamborghini Huracán EVO. Ravensburger was able to sell around 130.000 of them.
The GraviTrax ball track system, which Ravensburger has expanded to include the “Pro” series, is always present on social media. It is now also possible to build complex tracks in the air. Sales in this area increased by around 18 percent - Ravensburger can also see the interest in the success of the first GraviTrax book with instructions and extra tasks for fans and professionals.
On the subject of books: Ravensburger is also extremely busy there. Books for first-time readers, non-fiction books like the series “Why? Why? Why?” and “Guinness World Records 2021”, as well as books and games for the Tiptoi pen created freedom within families in Corona times – according to Ravensburger, the division grew by around 17 percent. Tiptoi grew significantly in the anniversary year, with books on preschool topics and the WiFi edition of the pen. Children's and youth literature also achieved double-digit growth. In particular, readers aged 14 and over resorted to titles such as “Kiss me twice” by bestselling author Stella Tack.
New corporate structures are bearing fruit
In 2019, Ravensburger led a restructuring of the organization Ravensburgergroup. This has now been completed and began to bear fruit last year. This meant that different retail channels could be supplied via cross-brand and cross-product sales and consumers could be served with all products.
According to Ravensburger, the high degree of in-house production was also an advantage. The toy company was able to react to the market situation. The company was able to quickly meet the increasing demand for puzzles. In the spring, production capacities in the company's own plants in Ravensburg and in Policka in the Czech Republic were increased to the pre-Christmas level, taking into account all corona security measures.
But even the toy giant was not protected from the effects of Corona: There were delivery bottlenecks for some products because demand was higher than capacity. "At this point, a big thank you to all our employees and our suppliers. They have achieved great things under the very challenging conditions," said Hanspeter Mürle, CEO of Ravensburger AG.
The Ravensburger Children's World, the Ravensburger Museum and the Ravensburger Spieleland were affected to a greater extent by the measures to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The park's season start was postponed to May 1st, and the number of daily visitors had to be limited.
Ravensburger remains active when it comes to climate protection and sustainability. An immediate measure for active climate protection was financed with 250.000 euros: In cooperation with the NGO Fairventures, the planting and sustainable management of over 120.000 trees in Uganda and Indonesia is made possible. In addition to the successive implementation of measures to reduce CO2, Ravensburger is currently developing an extended sustainability concept. And donations also flowed in: 750.000 euros went to social projects in all countries where Ravensburger has its own locations - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Japan - is represented. “We got through the special year 2020 well. That's why we decided to get involved more broadly for children and families in difficult situations and for climate protection," said Clemens Maier.
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