More family time generates growth spurt for Ravensburger

Ravensburg, January 27, 2021 – As a family or alone – last year more time was spent on games, reading and relaxation. That boosted demand for Ravensburger products, leading to a growth spurt for the Group in all product categories and markets. Ravensburger increased sales to EUR 632 million*, which was more than 20% up on previous year. Game classics, children’s books, tiptoi® products, GraviTrax marble run sets as well as brain games from ThinkFun were especially strong sellers. Puzzles gained new popularity – worldwide.
In 2020, the Ravensburger Group generated two-figure growth. On the major European toy markets, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK, Ravensburger achieved much higher growth than the overall market.** The highest growth rates were in the UK plus the North American and Scandinavian regions. In Germany, Ravensburger also achieved double-digit growth. The Chairman of the Board, Clemens Maier, explained the development of Ravensburger at a press briefing during the in-house trade show: “Typical for the past year was more time spent with the family. Board games and educational games for children alongside products for relaxation were especially in demand. We’re delighted that our products helped lots of people find a balance in their lives, especially in a time of crisis.”

Internationalization strategy delivers growth

Over the past months, the most popular games were the classics. People were looking for familiar products. An advantage of classic games is that players already know how to play and enjoy rekindling memories of togetherness in the past. Two product families were especially successful: 1.2 million copies of Labyrinth and over 2 million memory® games were sold in 2020. Games is the largest Ravensburger category, and in this segment the Group grew by a total of 22% on previous year. The company sold a total of 25 million games. Ravensburger is set to continue the classic games trend in 2021, when it celebrates the anniversaries of a number of successful games. They include Enchanted Forest (40 years) and Funny Bunny (20 years).
Sales of brain games from the ThinkFun brand increased by more than 33% (in terms of units). The top product, with sales of more than 475,000 units, was Gravity Maze, a game that builds reasoning skills and visual perception.

During the crisis, many children and adults worldwide discovered the relaxation of jigsaw puzzles. 28 million puzzles were shipped from Ravensburg to over 70 countries. That was some 32% up on previous year. There was also a boom in personalized puzzles. Demand for custom-made puzzles increased by almost four times. Puzzle fans can also enjoy activities in the newly developed Ravensburger Puzzle World (www.ravensburger.de/puzzleworld). Creatives can upload their own photos and share them with other users. Anybody can digitally process the images or order them as physical puzzles in the online store. The puzzle trend also boosted sales of 3D puzzles. The top seller in 2020 was the model of the Lamborghini Huracán EVO, with some 130,000 units sold.

Designing and building structures with the GraviTrax marble track system has a similar relaxing effect. Ravensburger expanded its in-house development with the Pro range, which makes it possible to build complex tracks on a vertical plane. The strong interest – sales increased by some 18% – was reflected in the success of the GraviTrax book with instructions and extra challenges for fans and experts.

Time for reading

Parents faced with the challenge of balancing childcare and working from home wanted products that gave their children something meaningful to do. Ravensburger books for early readers, non-fiction books such as the Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? range and Guinness World Records 2021, as well as books and games for the tiptoi® pen kept kids occupied. The company registered growth in all segments, totaling some 17%. In its 10th year, tiptoi® made impressive gains from pre-school books and the WiFi version of the pen. Children’s and young-adult books also achieved two-figure growth. Especially popular with readers from 14 years old were books such as Kiss Me Twice by bestseller author Stella Tack.

New organization structure pays off

The organizational restructuring of the Ravensburger Group, which started in 2019 and is now complete, produced concrete benefits in the past year. The new inter-brand and inter-product sales organization effectively supplied the different trading channels and consumers with all Ravensburger products. The high degree of in-house production proved to be a major advantage. It enabled the company to react quickly to the high demand for puzzles. Even early in the year, the production capacities in Ravensburg and Polička (Czech Republic) were ramped up to pre-Christmas levels, while observing all coronavirus safety measures. Despite this, demand outstripped supply capacity for some products. “I have to say a big thank-you to all our employees and suppliers in this situation. They did an amazing job under extremely challenging circumstances,” said Hanspeter Mürle, a Member of the Managing Board of Ravensburger AG.

The efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus hit Ravensburger Kinderwelt, the Ravensburger Museum and Ravensburger Spieleland particularly hard. The start of the season for the park was postponed to May 29, and the number of daily visitors was restricted.

Social responsibility and climate protection at Ravensburger

As a family-friendly and future-oriented company, Ravensburger takes its social responsibility seriously. Apart from the purposes and projects pursued by the Ravensburger Verlag Foundation (www.stiftung-ravensburger.de), the Ravensburger Group has provided support for many years and in a variety of ways to children, families and educational institutions in need.

In 2020, the Group decided to donate a larger sum of EUR 1 million for social justice and climate protection. “We emerged from the extraordinary year of 2020 in a good place. That’s why we decided to broaden our support for children and families in need as well as for climate protection,” said Clemens Maier. EUR 750,000 went to social projects in all the countries where Ravensburger is represented with its own locations***. An immediate financial package of EUR 250,000 was designated to climate protection action. In cooperation with the NGO Fairventures, this money supports the planting and sustainable management of more than 120,000 trees in Uganda and Indonesia. Apart from the successive implementation of measures to reduce CO2 emissions, Ravensburger is currently developing an extended sustainability concept.
* Net revenue of the Ravensburger Group AFTER consolidation. These and the following net revenue figures are provisional. As of 01/2021
** Source: NPD Eurotoys, G5 countries: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain
*** Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Japan