U.K.’s HIT Ent. posts 42% sales jump

'Bob the Builder' makes strong Nick Jr. debut

LONDON — Brit kidvid specialist HIT Entertainment has reported a 50% rise in pre-tax profit to £3 million ($4.35 million) for the six months to Jan. 31.

Company, which recently acquired Lyrick Studios and its popular Barney character, increased sales 42% to $18.7 million.

Meanwhile, “Bob the Builder,” HIT’s flagship franchise, has made a strong debut on Nick Jr. in the U.S., becoming the No. 1 preschool cable show in the past two months.

“Bob the Builder” videos will become available Stateside in May, followed by a major toy licensing push in the fall by Mattel, Lego and others.

“Bob is conquering America as he conquered the U.K.,” said HIT chief exec Peter Orton. “His popularity gives us great confidence for the success of the U.S. licensing programming due to roll out later this year.”

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