Playmobil invests €30m in injection moulding

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Germany-based toy manufacturer Playmobil is investing in €30m in injection moulding after a successful 2012 boosted sales 5.3% to €531m.

The firm is investing €12m in modernising production sites in Germany, Malta and the Czech Republic. It has also acquired a systems manufacturer close to a plant in Cheb, the Czech Republic, adding another 50 injection moulding machines to its production capacities.

"We use injection moulding machines by Austrian manufacturers like Battenfeld, German manufacturers like Krauss Maffei, Demag or Ferromatik, and our smallest machines injecting tiny little pieces like tooth brushes or mice come from Italy - Babyplast," the company told European Plastics News.

Playmobil uses injection moulding machines of sizes between 6 and 3,200 tons.

The toy maker is investing in production after achieving a "global record" in sales to retail. The 5% increase in sales also helped to grow sales of parent group Brandstätter Group by just less than 5% to €591m.

"Looking at the difficult overall economic situation our goal was to achieve sales growth in the mid single digit range," Playmobil general manager Andrea Scauer said in a statement. "Thanks to a high rate of innovation we achieved that goal. Right on target, so to speak."

The firm has consistently achieved growth since 2001, apart from a slight dip in sales in 2011.

"The slight decline of -0.9% in sales to 2011 can only be seen as a consolidation after all these years of increase," said a spokesperson. "Still in 2011 we had reached a record in quantity of shipping a company record of 55 million boxes."

In its home market of Germany, Playmobil increased its market share to 7.5% last year, making the company the third largest toy manufacturer after Lego and Mattel. Growth was also strong in the UK, France and Spain.

The firm  increased staff numbers to 3,701, 2,016 of whom are in Germany. By mid year 2012, the workforce was 5% larger than in 2011.

Looking forward, the company plans to invest €100m in growth. As well as the €30m going into injection moulding, the firm is planning a new logistics centre in Germany.


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