Hasbro won big with digital gaming in fiscal 2019. eSports and digital games contributed to growth for the Rhode Island-based toymaker, with net revenue increasing 3% to US$4.72 billion for the full year. Net earnings were US$520.5 million (up from US$220.4 million in 2018).
Net revenue for the toyco’s entertainment, licensing and digital segment grew 22% to US$434.5 million, driven by Magic: The Gathering Arena and higher digital gaming licensing revenues. Hasbro’s digital gaming efforts also contributed to growth in Q1, Q2 and Q3 2019.
Frozen 2 and Marvel brands like Avengers and Spider-Man contributed to a 24% increase in Hasbro’s partner brands segment (US$1.22 billion compared to US$987.3 million in fiscal 2018).
The toymaker’s emerging brands segment grew 5% to US$377.6 million, driven by Power Rangers and Playskool.
The franchise brands segment fell 1% to US$2.41 billion due to declines from NERF, My Little Pony, Baby Alive and Transformers. Weakness in Pie Face and Speak out, meanwhile, contributed to a 10% drop to US$709.8 million for the Hasbro gaming segment.
(Hasbro’s total gaming segment takes into account all gaming revenue from brands like Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly, which are included in the franchise brands segment. The total gaming segment grew 6% to US$1.53 billion in fiscal 2019.)
Net revenue grew 3% to US$2.45 billion in the US and Canada for fiscal 2019, while international net revenue declined 1% to US$1.85 billion. Revenue fell 4% in Latin America, but grew 3% in Asia Pacific.
In August 2019, Hasbro announced it would acquire Entertainment One for US$4 billion. Because the agreement was finalized in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, the toyco’s Q4 and fiscal 2019 results do not include the results of eOne. The acquisition saw Hasbro take ownership of the company’s entire film and TV production slate, including hit kids IPs Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. Hasbro plans to move a significant portion of eOne’s toy business in-house.
Hasbro’s Q4 2019 net revenue increased 3% to US$1.43 billion. Fourth quarter revenue was bolstered by demand for products related to Disney’s Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Moving forward, the company will focus on growing long-term business drivers, including gaming.