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.

5 Replies to “The pencil is not a commodity – Economist article on Faber-Castell”

  1. Off-Topic

    I got my order of pencils from that ebay vendor you recommended.. I’m pretty stoked

    1 x box of Mitsubishi Hi-uni
    1 x box of Pentel Black Polymer 999
    1 x box of Kita Boshi Hit 9900

    Each box contains 4 xHB, 4 x B, 4 x 2B

    although their pretty pricey I would never have found them here except maybe NYC at kino book store @ Rockefeller center . Out of the lot the Hi-uni is the one lacking. The lead on the Kitaboshi is REAL nice but the wood dont stick to the lead like rest. The Pentel lead is quite different it looks like the lead was crush and them repacked again unlike normal lead that looks shiny. Ow and the kitaboshi HIT’s are color coded on the cap ie. green for HB, red for B & navy blue for 2B. They also added 2 extra pencils one looks dark green with both ends bare and uncapped with the writing “established 1887 * Matured “MITSU-BISHI” 9800 *2B*” The other pencil is yellow with a brass ferrule witha pale pink eraser it say “MITSUBISHI PENCIL COMPANY “MITSU-BISHI” 9852 *HB* NEXT SIDE says ISBN *HB* NEXT SIDE says Master Writing *HB*. I wonder what Matured means old lead???

    Regards pencil people,

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