Turnhout, 25 February 2016 – Today their Majesties, the King and the Queen, are paying a working visit to Cartamundi, the global market leader in playing and game cards. With their visit, the Belgian Royal Couple praises the hard work of all employees who have built the family business into the crown jewel of our country during the past 45 years, where sustainable, humane and innovative operations have always been a focus.
Royal interest in Cartamundi fits into the general context of the Royal Couple’s visit to the province of Antwerp. After all, they are also visiting Talander in Arendonk (www.talander.be) and the City of Turnhout on the same day.
The interest of the Royal Couple in our company is mainly due to the historical and innovative importance of Cartamundi in the global production of playing cards. The first cards were produced by the godfathers of Belgian card games in Turnhout in the 18th century. They formed the beginning of what is now Cartamundi, a group established in 1970, combining more than 250 years of experience in the production and sale of playing cards, game cards and complete board games. Innovation and creativity were and are the strategic building blocks that ensure the group’s strong market position. Recent examples of innovation are the so-called iCards that bridge the gap between physical cards and the world of the internet and mobile apps. Another example is digital printing which taps into new market segments, and meets the demand for small print runs and on demand print jobs. This also ensures a prominent place for sustainable and humane entrepreneurship in the company strategy.
Thanks to the acquisition of two prominent production facilities of the American toy giant Hasbro last year, Cartamundi is now not only the global market leader in playing cards, but also the biggest producer of board games. “Before the acquisition, we already produced about 3 million board games a year. Now that increases to an annual production of over 40 million. This enables our existing and new clients to not only have playing cards made by us, but also complete board games,” Chris Van Doorslaer, CEO of Cartamundi and recently named Manager of the Year, explains.
At the same time, the royal visit also represents an acknowledgement for all employees that it is the result of everyone’s efforts, that the Cartamundi group expanded from an experienced card manufacturer to a multimedia group, driven by international expansion and sustainable innovation over the past 45 years. Its most important mission is bringing people together around the table to spend quality time with one another.
Sustainable, humane and innovative
For Cartamundi, sustainable entrepreneurship is a very broad concept. The Royal Couple appreciates that. For example, Chris Van Doorslaer is co-chairman of the Commission on Children’s Rights and Business Principles (www.childrenandbusiness.be), which aims to raise awareness among businesses under the banner of the UN Global Compact, emphasising the importance of children and young people as stakeholders in the business world. “Respect for children and their rights is an integral part of a corporate leader’s social responsibility ,” the CEO states. “It is not only a moral obligation, but also a basic prerequisite for economic progress. Wherever children’s rights are not respected, social progress and growth stagnate.” Cartamundi desires to be a role model and inspire its fellow entrepreneurs with its best practices.
The King and Queen’s Cartamundi programme include an informal welcome by the chairman and members of the Board of Directors, along with the CEO and the directors who will subsequently explain the pillars of the family business to them. The focus will be on the group’s historical and economic importance due to its strategic focus on innovation and creativity. The visit will end with a tour around various departments of the company (from creation via pre-press and printing to high quality finishing) and an introduction to employees who are experts at monitoring quality throughout the chain.
Cartamundi, which has its headquarters in Turnhout, was established in 1970 and has a combination of more than 250 years of experience in the production and sale of playing cards, cards for games and complete board games. It has production units in Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, the United States, Brazil, India and Japan, and with 13 sales offices globally, the group achieved a turnover of 266 million euros with 2,108 employees in 2015. In 2008, the company was crowned Company of the Year. In 2016, CEO Chris Van Doorslaer was named Manager of the Year, 2015.
Cartamundi has its own series of card games (such as Disney®, James Bond® and Shuffle®) and is also known for its promotional card collections (e.g. Pixar Delhaize and Delhaize Zoo), casino cards, collection cards (e.g. Magic: the Gathering!® Yu-Gi- Oh!®) and cards for games such as Uno® and Monopoly®. Innovation is given high priority at Cartamundi. And the innovative iCards, for example, bridge the gap between physical cards and the virtual world of internet, smart phones, game consoles, etc. Thus, Cartamundi opens a new dimension to its mission of ‘Sharing the magic of playing together’.
Chris Van Doorslaer
Chief Executive Officer
Tel. +32 (0)14 44 59 43
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