Elsa and Rey were the stars of Christmas 2019 for Hasbro, which today posted a strong set of Q4 sales results.
Frozen 2 and Star Wars lines helped push net revenues up 3 per cent to $1.43bn for the quarter, compared with $1.39bn in the previous year. The growth was slightly below forecasts, but enough to keep investors happy, sending shares up more than 5 per cent in early trading on Tuesday.
For the full year, Hasbro’s domestic US and Canada market saw net revenue growth in line with its fourth quarter, up 3 per cent to $2.45bn compared to $2.38bn in 2018. In Europe, revenue was up 4 per cent, absent foreign exchange impacts, and in Asia Pacific the company saw 7 per cent growth. Total international revenue grew 4 per cent, with Latin America largely flat.
The toymaker’s partner brands, which include Disney-licensed toys, and emerging brands both saw healthy growth in 2019, though Hasbro’s generally buoyant gaming division and franchise brands – think MLP, Nerf and Transformers – saw decline.
Partner brands revenue increased 24 per cent to $1.22 billion, driven in most part by Disney's Frozen 2 product along with increases in Hasbro's products for Marvel's Avengers and Spider-Man franchises drove much of the growth.
Hasbro’s Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment fared even better with 22 per cent growth. Net revenues increased 22 per cent to $434.5m compared to $356.3m in 2018. Magic: The Gathering Arena, a revamped digital version of the trading card game, played a big role in the performance, alongside Hasbro’s share of revenues from the Transformers: Bumblebee movie. Licensed consumer products were also up across the board, and digital gaming licensing revenues were positive.
Brian Goldner, Hasbor’s chairman and CEO, praised the global team for having “delivered a good year” even with the damaging effects of tariffs, changes to supply chains and the purchase of eOne.
“Our acquisition of Entertainment One accelerates our Brand Blueprint strategy and significantly expands our expertise and capabilities as a global play and entertainment company,” he adds.
“Our teams are actively engaged to unlock value across our organisation - in gaming, in toys, in consumer products and in entertainment."