Strong growth in Entertainment One’s (eOne) Family and TV businesses were offset by declines on the film side, with the global studio reporting overall revenue of US$1.39 billion in its year-end results.
The company’s overall fiscal revenue was down by 4% from US$1.49 billion a year ago, while underlying EBITDA was up 11% to US$236 million and before-tax profits climbed 116% to US$103 million.
In all, the company’s Family and Brands business posted revenue of US$184.4 million in the year ended March 31, up 56% from a year ago. That was spurred by continued growth for Peppa Pig (pictured) and its various lines of business (including revenue of US$112.8 million, up from US$93.2 million last year, and US$2.4 billion in retail sales, compared with US$1.5 billion a year ago). eOne’s Family division also saw significant PJ Masks growth, which saw its revenue increase by a whopping 261% to US$65 million.
eOne noted in the report that more than 40 million Peppa Pig books have been sold in China since the preschool brand launched there in April 2016. The property’s performance has been helped by significant exposure on national broadcaster CCTV and other VOD platforms in the region (including Tencent, iQIYI and Youku).
Peppa Pig licensing programs have recently kicked off in India, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mongolia and Mainland China. Earlier this month, eOne appointed Alpha Group as master toy partner for the preschool property in China, with a line featuring play sets, figurines and role-play items set to debut later this year.
Despite stellar sales for Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, the company did note the negative impact of Toys “R” Us’ ongoing liquidations in the US and UK during the second half of the year. eOne expects there to be some short-term impact for its brands, and says it is monitoring the situation closely with its partners.
On the television side, revenue across eOne’s whole TV group (which includes eOne TV, The Mark Gordon Company, eOne’s music business and Secret Location) grew by 19%. Meanwhile, overall film revenue fell by 32% to US$535.5 million. The declines were attributed to fewer theatrical releases (144 in 2018 compared with 172 a year ago) and fewer home-entertainment releases (the company released 255 titles on DVD and Blu-ray in 2018, compared with 366 a year ago).