With sales of its girl-skewing toys up 21%, Rhode Island-based Hasbro swung to profitability during the first quarter of 2014.
Overall company revenues were up 2% to US$679.5 million, and earnings were US$32.1 million compared to losses of US$6.7 million in 2013.
The results are also a reflection of particular improvements across the company’s Franchise Brands, Emerging Markets and Entertainment and Licensing segments. The latter saw revenues increase 13% to US$34.9 million, which were greatly impacted by revenues from Backflip Studios. Last July, Hasbro took a majority stake in the Colorado-based mobile developer in a US$112 million cash outlay gave the company 70% ownership of the studio.
Hasbro’s domestic revenues dipped 1% to US$337.7 million. These results were impacted by significant growth within the Girls category, which was offset by softness in the Boys (up 2%, despite Beyblade declines), Games (down 4%) and Preschool (also down 4%) segments. However, both Boys and Girls categories stood strong on the international stage, resulting in a 5% spike in global revenues to US$305.5 million.
It looks like it’s taking the ponies – and some Nerf – to pull the weight within the company’s strong Girls category. My Little Pony, My Little Pony Equestria Girls and Nerf Rebelle have all proven to be the most major sales-drivers.
Hasbro’s results tell a different story from its closest competitor, Mattel, which last week posted quarterly net losses of US$11.2 million, which were impacted by a 14% decline in Barbie sales. Overall, worldwide net sales were down 5% for Mattel to US$946.2 million.
However, Hasbro and Mattel closed out 2013 on a similar playing field, as both companies reported sluggish toy sales primarily due to a decreased appetite for boys’ toys. Still, Hasbro’s Girls category increased 26% to reach a record US$1 billion in revenues last year thanks to success of Furby and – once again – My Little Pony.