International Toy Fair 2019

Ravensburger on a roll with GraviTrax marble track

Ravensburg, January 29, 2019 – In the past fiscal year, Ravensburger Group improved in all its key divisions. The Group’s net revenue increased by 4.3 % (4.9 % after adjustment for exchange-rate effects) to € 491.2 million*. This means Ravensburger developed more positively than the international markets for games and toys, which mainly stagnated. The company achieved significant growth rates in Germany and above all the US, where Ravensburger has built up a stronger position after two acquisitions in recent years. Ravensburger’s best-selling product in the toys and games sector in 2018 was the innovative "GraviTrax". This is a Ravensburger development that, after its launch in Germany, also attracted a very good response internationally. Ravensburger is continuing its innovation drive: At the end of the year, the company will launch "toi+", an interactive game console without a screen.
Looking at the business situation, the Chairman of the Board, Clemens Maier, pointed out a clear trend: "Especially today, when digitization is reaching into many areas of life, the haptic element of play is becoming more important. People want to come together for a social play experience as an escape from the digital world. That makes our Ravensburger brands more relevant than ever."

Ravensburger’s market position: the largest German manufacturer of games, puzzles and arts-and-crafts products

In 2018, the net revenue of Ravensburger toys in Germany increased by 6.9 % to € 141.9 million. Retail sales increased by the same amount – or stronger than the German market for games and toys, which grew by 2 %**. As a result, Ravensburger boosted its market share and is now in third place on the German market for games and toys. In Ravensburger’s main merchandise groups, games, puzzles and arts-and-crafts products, the company is the market leader in Germany.

Right at the top of Ravensburger’s sales chart in Germany in 2018 was the GraviTrax marble track, which in the previous year had already been one of the most sought-after toys in the Christmas business. Other bestsellers were the Porsche 911 R 3D puzzle and the "tiptoi CREATE" further development of the audio-digital learning pen which can now also record children’s voices. But also children’s games that have been popular for years such as the "Kakerlakak" range achieved six-figure sales.

With innovative toys like tiptoi or GraviTrax, Ravensburger has further developed its business over recent years. Now the company is presenting another innovation at Nuremberg Toy Fair: the no-screen game console "toi+", an in-house development due to go on sale at the end of 2019. The main element is the "Core", a roughly palm-sized element with sensors, processor and speakers which can be plugged into various toys, ranging from movement game to logic trainer.

Internationalization: business expansion in the US pays off

On the foreign markets, Ravensburger games made a gain of 3.9 % to € 276.3 million. Positive development was dampened by the partly weaker market situation in Europe, but the company achieved considerable increases in the US. Here, Ravensburger’s acquisition of two American games manufacturers as part of its internationalization strategy paid off. One example of success was the new "Disney Villainous" board game from Wonder Forge, which sold a quarter of a million copies in the US. Furthermore, the brain games brand ThinkFun with titles like "Gravity Maze" and "Rush Hour" significantly contributed to the growth of Ravensburger business in the US.

Sales on the up: Guinness Book of Records boosts book sales

Last year, the German children’s and youth book market increased by 3.2 %***. And Ravensburger’s book business grew even faster, up by 7.7 % to € 68.7 million. A significant factor here was the nonfiction book range "Guinness World Records 2019", published under license by Ravensburger. There was also growing demand in the teenage novel segment, which Ravensburger has recently expanded.

Changes in retailing: Ravensburger restructures

The toy and book markets are undergoing changes. More and more consumers are searching for and buying toys and books online, while concentration in the retail landscape is continuing. In view of these developments, Ravensburger has altered its strategy and, among other things, adapted its sales channels. Now the company plans to merge its originally separate sales organizations for toys and books into one joint organization. In the future, sales strategy will span brands and products.

This move gives Ravensburger greater sales weight and means the company can offer retailers a more efficient, better service. It also slims down Ravensburger’s organizational structure, which company acquisitions made more complex. In almost all locations abroad, the sales organizations are already merged.
* Net revenue of the Ravensburger Group AFTER consolidation. These and the following net revenue figures are provisional. Final net revenue and earnings figures will be published at the annual results press conference in June 2019.
** Source: NPD Eurotoys
*** Source: Media Control