Toy-maker Hasbro feels the bright side of the Force
Hasbro has reported its biggest jump in quarterly revenue in nearly five years, beating analysts' estimates by a wide margin, driven by demand for toys based on the 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'Jurassic World' movies.
Revenue from toys targeted at boys, which include action figures based on the two blockbuster films released last year, surged 35pc to $569.8m (€513m) in the fourth quarter. Industry-wide sales of Star Wars-licensed merchandise totalled about $700m in the United States in 2015, according to retail research firm NPD Group.
Larger rival Mattel reported a surprise rise in quarterly net sales this month as sales of Barbie dolls recovered and demand rose for Hot Wheels toys, driven by Star Wars items such as the Millennium Falcon Starship.
Hasbro's revenue from its games category, which includes Monopoly, increased 11pc after two straight quarters of decline. The revenue decline in the toys for girls category slowed to 17pc from more than 20pc in the prior two quarters.
Mattel and Hasbro have held talks about a possible merger, Bloomberg reported last week. Both companies have declined to comment on the report. The net income attributable to Hasbro rose 3.4pc to $175.8m, or $1.39 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 27.
Net revenue rose 12.8pc to $1.47bn. Excluding the impact of a strong dollar, revenue surged 23pc. (Reuters)