LONDON — HIT Entertainment, home of Barney the Dinosaur and Bob the Builder, has added Pingu the Penguin to its kidvid characters in a £15.9 million ($23.1 million) deal.
Acquisition, which involved buying the rights to Pingu from a number of owners, came as the company posted pretax profits for the year ended July 31 of $10.9 million — up 53%. Sales climbed 153% to $75.9 million.
HIT acquired Lyrick Studios, and thus Barney, early this year in a major push into the American market.
The company said it was now the third biggest kidvid distributor in the U.S. with 12% market share.
HIT chairman Peter Orton said he expected big things from Pingu, describing the character as under-exploited outside Japan and the U.K.