PLAYMOBIL FIGURES TURN 40 AND CELEBRATE RECORD SALES
Worldwide PLAYMOBIL Sales Grow by 4 Percent to € 552 Million –
Brandstätter Group Increases Revenue to Over € 600 Million
ZIRNDORF, GERMANY – January 29, 2014 – Worldwide PLAYMOBIL sales to retailers reached € 552 million, a new record in the company’s history. PLAYMOBIL CEO Andrea Schauer comments, “The extraordinary thing about PLAYMOBIL is its continuous success over 40 years. We owe the fact that we can report a new sales record in this anniversary year to the innovation potential of our new products, the unbroken appeal of the brand, and the consumers’ trust in the play value and quality of our products.”
PLAYMOBIL Development in Germany
PLAYMOBIL retail sales in Germany increased by 2.3 percent. Compared to the previous year, the German toy market grew by 1 percent. Thus, PLAYMOBIL achieved a market share of 7.5 percent and ranked third in the market behind Lego and Mattel. This represents a particular success, considering that no great future was predicted for the 2¾-inch-tall PLAYMOBIL figures when they made their first appearance at the International Toy Fair in 1974. A significant part of the recent positive development is due to the new products of the last year, especially the new Shopping Mall with figures that can be dressed and changed, and the Asian Dragon’s Land play world.
The share of the foreign markets in total sales grew again in 2013, rising to 72 percent. The twelve distribution subsidiaries made important contributions to this positive development, especially PLAYMOBIL France. There, sales to retailers increased in the single digits. Sales in the subsidiary markets in Belgium/the Netherlands, Austria, and the USA were lower than the previous year.
The sales increase of 8 percent for PLAYMOBIL in the United Kingdom was pleasing. The shift of sales activities in Italy from an agency to our own sales team was rewarded with a 38 percent increase in sales. The 30 percent growth of the Mexico subsidiary was also significant, although at a lower level.
PLAYMOBIL has proven to be crisis-resistant in the southern European markets of Spain and Greece, with a sales gain of 10 and 6 percent respectively.
PLAYMOBIL Novelties in 2014:
From the Alps to the Far East
With a wide range of new playtime ideas for 2014, PLAYMOBIL's creators from Zirndorf, Germany once again confirm their outstanding innovative strength in a toy manufacturer comparison. The attractive mix of new products offers an invitation to "Camping" to adventures in "Asian Dragon’s Land". Completely new in the product portfolio are Mountain Life, Fairy Land and a Shopping Mall with PLAYMOBIL figures that can be dressed and changed. The more expensive gift sets for special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas will be supplemented with year-round products in price ranges targeting impulse buys and pocket money purchases, as well as great anniversary extras on the occasion of PLAYMOBIL’s 40th birthday.
The Brandstätter Group’s total sales increased by 3.5 percent to € 612 million, compared to 2012. This is the first time in company history that the € 600 million threshold has been crossed.
Along with PLAYMOBIL, the LECHUZA brand, which produces high-quality plastic planters with a sub-irrigation system, played a role in this pleasing result. Despite a rainy and thus difficult season for the gardening industry, which declined by 5.7 percent in the first half of the year, sales in this business area grew by 1 percent over the previous year to € 47.5 million.
As an outdoor destination for families with children, the PLAYMOBIL FunPark also had to contend with the sometimes rainy holiday periods. Nevertheless, visitor numbers grew by 4 percent to over 713,000.
In 2013, the Brandstätter Group employed an average of 4,069 people worldwide, with 2,303 of them in Germany. That was an annual growth of 368 employees, just under 10 percent more than in 2012. For Germany alone, the growth was 14 percent.
Investments and Production Plants
Investments of € 95 million are planned worldwide for the 2014 business year to strengthen the PLAYMOBIL and LECHUZA brands. This includes € 30 million exclusively for injection molds. Additional funds will go to the equipping and optimization of the processes of the production network, which is composed of the manufacturing facilities in Dietenhofen, Selb, Malta, the Czech Republic and Spain.
An ongoing major investment is the new PLAYMOBIL logistics center located in Herrieden, which is conveniently located for traffic. The new construction was necessary because, previously, the volume of finished products to be processed, over 60 million packages per year, could only be dealt with at the Dietenhofen location through the leasing of peripheral third-party warehousing, with not enough area available on site. It will still be several months before the completion of the eight modules with interior work, the arrival of the finished products, and the gradual start of operation. The official opening is planned for the beginning of July.
Company owner, Horst Brandstätter, summarizes:
“I am often asked if I foresaw the success story of PLAYMOBIL the first time I saw the sample figures. No, I did not. But when it became clear how important our 7.5 cm tall figures are to children, I did everything I could as a businessman so that only the best quality and as much play value as possible reached the children. Today, my team takes care of that, and I try to continue making this possible with my capital. PLAYMOBIL should encourage imagination. And we want to continue doing that in the future.”