The pencil is not a commodity – Economist article on Faber-Castell

It just came to my attention that the March 3rd Economist “Face Value” column had a full-page article on Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell and the Faber-Castell business. It’s a good read for anyone interested in the pencil business.

A few quick facts:

* F-C annual revenue is $US530M

* The Count owns 88% of the firm

* production is 2 billion pencils/year

* the debt to equity ratio is 50%

* there are sixteen manufacturing plants

* the expected growth market is in drawing as a hobby

On a personal note, happy Easter to those who are celebrating the holiday.