Following the strong performance, Character Group anticipates continued growth in the second half of the year.
The Character Group has published its results for the half-year ending 28th February 2021. Turnover for the period increased by 44% to £74.5m, with an underlying profit before tax of £6.1m.
The performance is attributed to the company’s strong portfolio of brands, with growth expected to continue through the second half of the financial year. Highlights include Goo Jit Zu, which is penetrating all major international markets, with distribution already achieved in more than 40 countries. The Character Group’s other major brands (Peppa Pig, Pokémon, Little Live Pets, Shimmer ‘n Sparkle InstaGlam, Stretch Armstrong, Fireman Sam, Scooby Doo) are also exceeding expectations.
In addition, there has been a focus on developing a sustainable, eco-friendly range of products across numerous brands with the new World of Licensed Wood range, which now includes a comprehensive selection of figures, vehicles and playsets. Licences currently within the range include Peppa Pig, Disney Princess and Fireman Sam. There is also an Eco-Plush multi-licenced collection, which Character says is being enthusiastically embraced by retailers and consumers alike.
Another key development has been the partnership with Moonbug Entertainment and the creation of a master toy line for the new pre-school property My Magic Pet Morphle, which will be launching later in the year.
The statement issued by the Group also detailed its outlook for the second-half of the financial year: “In the shorter term there are challenges, with the underlying delays at ports, shipping shortages and opportunistic pricing on freight rates (all principally fall-out resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic) and mounting pressure on the costs of production in China. However, with the substantial increase in Group sales in the first half, we have continued to see a strong performance from sales of our product portfolio in all our territories from the commencement of the second half of the year. This growth is forecast to continue through to and beyond Christmas 2021 and we are on target to deliver the best performance in a calendar year in the Group’s history. By working tirelessly and in close partnership with our customers, suppliers and brand owners, our personnel have delivered a seamless, efficient and safe transition from the old to the ‘new normal’. Every one of our team members has played a significant role in this achievement and, on behalf of the Board and all the Group’s stakeholders, the Group wishes to express its gratitude to them.”