Puzzles are extremely popular - so much so that Ravensburger has to invest in its logistics and production capacities for this reason, among other things. The publisher produced 32,4 million puzzles last year alone. In the end there was a renewed increase in sales in this segment and in the entrepreneurial area as a whole - despite Corona problems.
After one Record growth last year According to the Ravensburger Group, by more than 20 percent, its sales increased again slightly by around one percent to EUR 2021 million in 636 - under difficult conditions. The growth was successful, although the previous growth had reached the capacity limit and fewer goods were delivered due to the realignment of logistics in the USA and global transport bottlenecks.
Puzzles: Five percent growth
Ravensburger announces: The business expanded last year primarily through puzzles and creative products. "While sales increased slightly in Germany, they rose significantly in the foreign markets that are important for Ravensburger, such as Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia," says the company.
The Ravensburger Group achieved its growth despite the difficult circumstances caused by the corona pandemic: On the one hand, the sharp increase in demand in 2020 had brought Ravensburger production and logistics to their capacity limits. On the other hand, the company delivered fewer goods than planned in its second largest sales market, the USA: Ravensburger was dealing with the complex merger of several logistics locations there and was also confronted with global transport bottlenecks.
"Three-shift operation, weekend work, overtime - our workforce has met the great demand for our products through their enormous commitment," said CFO Hanspeter Mürle, explaining the Ravensburger financial year. "However, the fact that some of our goods got stuck on the way to the customer cost us sales in the USA."
Renner 2021 at Ravensburger: "Painting by Numbers" and "echoes"
After a veritable puzzle boom in 2019 and 2020, Ravensburger achieved further sales growth of 2021 percent in this segment in 5. The number of jigsaw puzzles produced rose to 32,4 million last year. The best-selling jigsaw puzzles had a special motif: custom-made items, produced as "my Ravensburger Puzzle". The licensed themes Pokémon and Harry Potter were also popular, including, for example, the “Hogwarts Castle” as a 3D puzzle.
Creative employment was also very popular. This is impressively demonstrated by the sales figures for the popular "Painting by Numbers" series: They rose significantly last year and doubled for offers for adults. In Italy in particular, painting by numbers under the “CreArt” brand celebrated a sales success after a relaunch. The Ravensburger “GraviTrax” ball track system with the new “PRO” variant, which sold 700.000 units at home and abroad, also had a good run.
This was mainly due to the users themselves: Ravensburger communicates with them via social media and sponsors YouTube events, where artistically built GraviTrax tracks become viral hits. The community is constantly growing, with currently 7 million GraviTrax videos on the TikTok platform and 2,5 million views on the official GraviTrax Youtube channel alone.
Among the games, the new development “echoes” stood out, an audio mystery game series that is played in combination with the smartphone. It got off to a flying start in just four months, selling 170.000 copies. The sustainable handicraft series "EcoCreate", on the other hand, appealed to environmentally conscious customers with their upcycling ideas and achieved sales of 130.000 units in the first year.
Investing in people, manufacturing and sustainability
As early as 2020, the Ravensburger Group initiated an investment push over three years, amounting to more than 100 million euros. "We are currently investing considerable sums in employees, production and sustainability so that the Ravensburger Group can continue to grow responsibly in the future," said CEO Clemens Maier.
More production capacity and a new office environment at the Ravensburg site
The persistently high demand for Ravensburger products prompted the group of companies to expand their production and logistics. Last year, Ravensburger installed new production facilities at the Ravensburg site and expanded its logistics space there. At the second production site in Policka, Czech Republic, the company built an extension and procured additional production facilities.
Ravensburger also invests large sums in employees and jobs. Their number rose last year by 109 to 2.413. At the Ravensburg headquarters, Ravensburger is currently converting the existing offices into a new office environment. The company also launched an extensive employer branding campaign to attract new employees.
“Ravensburger Next Ventures” – innovations with young startups
From 2022, Ravensburger will be targeting young start-ups with its “Next Ventures” investment program in order to jointly place innovations on the market through a participation. The group of companies is financing this program with an amount in the double-digit millions and invests in a maximum of four projects per year. Creative founders from the fields of toys, children's books and edutainment who want to realize product, sales or material ideas and use Ravensburger's know-how and network are in demand.
Own branches in China and Poland
Ravensburger is consistently pursuing its internationalization strategy: Until now, Ravensburger was only represented in China and Poland with external distributors and a small range. In 2021 and 2020, the group of companies founded its own branches there, because both markets are promising: the average income is growing there and parents are showing increased interest in high-quality and educational offers.
Extensive investments in sustainability
As a company with values and a willingness to assume responsibility, Ravensburger has been investing more in sustainable management since 2019. An interdisciplinary team of Ravensburger employees worked with experts to develop a carbon footprint and a comprehensive sustainability strategy for the Ravensburger Group. The most important goals are climate-neutral operations from 2023 and the reduction of CO2 emissions along the entire supply chain by 2030. The company is currently converting its entire operation to green electricity and supports climate protection projects of the organization "Fairventures Worldwide".
The proportion of single-use plastic in products should also be reduced. The proportion of certified sustainable materials, such as paper and cardboard, is to be increased further. Ravensburger also specifically develops products that promote children's sensitivity to sustainability. At the beginning of 2022, the company established its own sustainability department.
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Last updated on 27.09.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API