Model train fans in Germany are spending less money on their hobby due to the rising cost of living, according to manufacturer Piko. The managing partner of the long-established company, René Wilfer, spoke on Thursday in Sonneberg of sales that had developed weaker than expected in 2023. Above all, widespread uncertainty among the population had led to a reluctance to buy.
The turnover of the company founded in Saxony was therefore only slightly above the previous year's level, but a good third above that of the pre-corona year 2019. Piko exports increased by 9.3 percent - the most important market was Poland. Earnings were significantly lower than in 2022, partly due to higher wage costs, "but there is enough left over to finance the high investments in new products and develop further electronic gadgets," said the CEO.
The medium-sized company with around 650 employees in Germany and China does not provide absolute figures for turnover and profit. Wilfer announced 450 new locomotive and carriage products for this year. The company is aiming for sales growth of just under five percent.
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