While US toymaker Jakks Pacific saw its profits and margins increase in the fourth quarter of 2016, a number of key licensed products, including some tied to movies, underperformed.
Net sales for the California company came in at US$167 million versus US$163.4 million for the same period a year ago, and gross margin went up from 30.3% in Q4 2015 to 31.2% in the period ending December 31.
The small gross margin bump was attributed to Jakks’ ongoing margin expansion efforts, partially offset by higher tooling amortization.
Operating income also improved from negative 4.2% a year ago to negative 1.4% in Q4 2016, thanks to higher gross margin and lower SG&A expenses, partly offset by higher marketing expenses.
In a company statement, CEO Stephen Berman said sales of several key licensed products were only modestly higher than a year ago, but Jakks was able to grow some of its core segments, including its proprietary IPs and newly acquired properties.
Amid the progress, the toyco has also strengthened its online sales channel.
Jakks hopes to benefit this year from new licensed product line launches based on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, LEGO Batman, DC Superhero Girls, Power Rangers, Minecraft and Nintendo.
For its own IP, strong sales are expected for its Gift ‘Ems, Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker , Real Workin’ Buddies Dusty and Mighty Runner brands.