Master toy licences for Peppa Pig and Teletubbies renewed for a further three years, and appointed master toy distributor in UK and Ireland for Pokemon.
The Character Group has reported a “solid finish” to the 2017 financial year, with underlying profit before tax of £13.4m, up from £12.6 in FY 2016. During the year, the company implemented initiatives to reduce product costs and these, together with the sales mix, have enabled the underlying gross profit margin in the year to improve to 32.6%, compared to 31.2% for the 2016 financial year.
Amid challenging market conditions, the company’s yearly turnover decreased by 4.7%, a decrease it attributes to the performance of international sales – and, in part, to Toys R Us USA filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier in the year. On an absolute basis, despite the reduction in the turnover, underlying gross profit remained static at £37.5m for the financial year, compared to £37.7m for FY 2016.
At home, Character’s portfolio of brands serviced from its UK base continues to sell well, with domestic sales holding at levels comparable to the same period last year.
Revenue in the year ended 31st August 2017 was £115.3m, against £121m in the comparable 2016 period. Total revenue generated in the UK market was the same as last year at £86.7m whilst, in international markets, total revenue was £28.6m (FY 2016: £34.2m).
Character’s leading brands – Peppa Pig, Little Live Pets, Stretch, Mashems, Teletubbies – continue to perform well, with added product extensions enabling the the company to build further the brand strength and depth, and in November Character’s Laser X and Stretch Armstrong toys featured in the TRA’s Dream Toys Top 12. Also included in the TRA’s top category lists for creative toys, pre-school and games were Character’s Little Live Pets Ladybug, Little Live Pets My Dream Kitten , and Soundmoovz products.