Following a difficult fiscal 2018 (including a double-digit decline in revenue), Hasbro seems to have found the magic ingredient with Magic: The Gathering Arena. The eSports program (based on the popular card game) contributed to significant growth in the toymaker’s entertainment, licensing and digital segment, which saw net revenue increase 24% to US$92 million in Q1 2019.
Previously called entertainment and licensing, the segment now includes digital gaming revenue from Hasbro’s Washington-based subsidiary Wizards of the Coast. In December, the two companies announced the new Magic: The Gathering Arena eSports program across the game’s digital and tabletop iterations.
This strength contributed to Hasbro’s Q1 2019 net revenue increasing 2% to US$732.5 million. Net earnings for the first quarter, meanwhile, were US$36.7 million (compared to a net loss of US$112.5 million in Q1 2018).
Hasbro’s emerging brands segment also saw significant growth in the first quarter, with net revenue increasing 22% to US$59.4 million. Collectibles and initial shipments of Power Rangers products in North America contributed to the growth. Hasbro acquired the billion-dollar Power Rangers franchise, along with several other Saban Brands entertainment properties, for approximately US$522 million in cash and stock, last year.
The toymaker’s franchise brands segment posted US$393.6 million in net revenue (up 9%), thanks in large part to its Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, Play-Doh and Transformers brands. Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly are also included in Hasbro’s total gaming segment, which grew 20% to US$243.4 million in the first quarter.
Hasbro’s partner brands segment, meanwhile, saw net revenue fall 14% to US$172 million. According to the toymaker, this decline was due to the timing of new entertainment initiatives launching in 2019.
Net revenue in the US and Canada grew 1% to US$357.9 million, while international net revenue fell 2% to US$282.6 million. Latin America saw the biggest declines with revenue down 5% in the first quarter.