Hasbro is playing its cards right with the Magic: The Gathering Arena. The Rhode Island-based toymaker has found success with the eSports program after a difficult fiscal 2018, reporting an increase in revenue for the second quarter in a row.
The entertainment, licensing and digital segment grew 28% to US$96.5 million due to the success of Hasbro’s digital gaming business, contributing to an overall net revenue increase of 9% to US$984.5 million in Q2 2019. Another significant area of growth for the company was its franchise brands segment, which grew 14% to US$576.7 million due to the success of Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly and Play-Doh in the second quarter. The emerging brands segment, meanwhile, saw revenue grow 28% to US$71 million thanks to strength in its Power Rangers, FurReal Friends and Playskool brands.
Hasbro’s gaming segment saw significant growth in Q1 2019, but its revenue fell 8% to $123.4 million in the second quarter. Weakness from games like Pie Face and Duel Masters contributed to decline. Gaming properties like Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly are included in the company’s franchise brands segment, but when included as part of the total gaming segment, they contributed to US$393.4 million in revenue in the same period (an increase of 26%).
Hasbro’s revenue in the US and Canada increased 14% to $510.5 million, though its international revenue fell 1% to $377.4 million. Europe and Asia Pacific saw small growth in Q2 2019, but revenue in Latin America fell 6% during the quarter.
The company’s net earnings fell 77% to US$13.4 million due in large part to an after-tax pension charge. Looking forward, however, Hasbro will launch major brand initiatives for Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for the holiday season and anticipates it will report US$50 million in net savings in fiscal 2019.