‘Casper’ helps Harvey turn quarter profit

Universal pays fee for sequel ghost story

NEW YORK — Harvey Entertainment Co. earned $627,000 in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $386,000 a year earlier, it said Tuesday, boosted by the release of its direct-to-vid feature “Casper: A Spirited Beginning.”

But the increase was also helped by a one-time fee Harvey received from Universal Studios when U decided to do a theatrical sequel to “Casper,” a spokesman for Harvey said Tuesday. The size of the fee was not disclosed.

Harvey’s film revenues jumped to $2.1 million in the quarter from $476,000 a year earlier, while licensing revenues almost doubled to $1.5 million. Harvey took back control of its licensing activities last year from Universal, enabling the company to start signing up new licensees around the world.

Harvey finished the year with revenue of $15.4 million, up from $9.1 million in 1996, and a net profit of $3.1 million — compared with $1.2 million a year earlier.

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