When it comes to Peppa Pig’s growth over the next five years, expect to be seeing double.
The preschool brand contributed substantially to a 42% rise in pre-tax profit – which came in at US$60.7 million – for Canadian producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) during the first half of its current fiscal year ended September 30.
The earnings report confirmed that the Peppa Pig franchise generated US$1 billion in retail sales in 2015, a number that eOne says will double by 2020 through expansion in existing markets, as well as ongoing development in new ones.
More than 200 broadcasting and licensing deals were concluded for Peppa in the first six months of the fiscal year, which were followed by a US$212-million deal that gave eOne a 70% controlling stake in Peppa Pig creator Astley Baker Davies and a resulting 85% ownership of the Peppa brand.
Within eOne’s Television group, revenues stemming from the Family & Licensing segment rose by 4% in this period to US$50 million. As of September 30, the group had 800 live merchandising and licensing contracts across its portfolio, spanning the Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom brands. The former’s launch in China on CCTV will be followed by the introduction of a full digital initiative and a further licensing rollout in the region in 2016. Production of Peppa Pig’s fourth season, consisting of 52 new episodes, is also currently underway with a June 2016 premiere on the horizon.
In terms of overall growth within its TV business, Television Production & Sales revenues jumped 74% to US$124 million. eOne reports it acquired and/or produced 442 half hours of new programming in the first six months of its fiscal year, compared to 245 half hours during the same period last year. More than a thousand half hours are anticipated for the full year. Overall company-wide earnings were up 43% to US$79 million.