×

Hasbro profits slip 1% in Q4

The holidays weren’t as giving as Hasbro had hoped — the company saw profits slip 1% during the fourth quarter, when toymakers typically generate a large portion of their annual sales — but the toymaker is counting on its Hollywood properties to bolster its bottom line going forward.

While revenue did rise 4% to $1.3 billion, driven by overseas biz and gains in Hasbro’s boys and pre-school lines, profits came in at $139.1 million for the three-month period that ended Dec. 25.

Sales were off 2% in the U.S. and Canada to $593 million but rose 8.4% overseas to $669.8 million, especially in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Mexico.

Hasbro saw softer returns from its girls, games and puzzles groups, which includes Battleship, Monopoly, Risk, Ouija and Candy Land, all properties being adapted into films. “Battleship” sets sail at plexes in May.

“We did not meet our expectations for growth in the U.S. and Canada segment, as we experienced weaker demand than we had anticipated, especially post-Thanksgiving, including challenges in the games and puzzles category,” off 11%, said Hasbro prexy-CEO Brian Goldner.

Popular on Variety

Company tapped Wiebe Tinga to lead the division and boost sales after growing Hasbro’s toy line in emerging markets.

That group already has been updating boardgames by adding interactive technology (electronic dice for Yahtzee and a digital bank to Monopoly, for example) while creating digital versions for online play.

“We continue to believe that through a combination of face-to-face, off-the-board and digital gaming, there is an opportunity to grow our gaming business,” Goldner said in a conference call with analysts.

Goldner also told analysts he believes adaptations of Hasbro’s properties as films and TV shows will help increase interest in the toy aisles. Hasbro recently moved “Stretch Armstrong” from Universal to Relativity Media and believes reinventing the brand will boost revenue when the film bows in 2014, considering Hasbro hadn’t promoted the property with marketing dollars in 20 years, Goldner said.

Hasbro has a similar line of film-based toys set to target boys around the upcoming pics “Battleship,” “The Avengers,” “The Amazing-Spider Man,” “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace in 3-D” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

The boys division, Hasbro’s largest, grew 29% in the fourth quarter and 35% during all of 2011, with pre-school toys up 15%. The girls line was off 16%.

Films, along with TV shows that air on its kids cabler the Hub helped entertainment and licensing revenue climb to $64.1 million from $53.5 million during the quarter.

Toys based on “Transformers” rose 85% in 2011, coming in at the low end of Hasbro’s expectations, given the success of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which earned over $1.1 billion at the box office and popular Hub series “Transformers Prime.”

In the fall, “Littlest Pet Shop” will get a new look with its own Hasbro Studios TV series.

“Similar to how we are successfully reigniting ‘My Little Pony,’ ‘Littlest Pet Shop’ will tell stories, which engage the ‘Littlest Pet Shop’ consumers and carry through our merchandise and retail presence,” Goldner said.

More Film

  • NARCOS MEXICO

    Gaumont Scales Down U.S. Operations, Anticipates Big Losses (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont, the once thriving French studio behind “The Intouchables” and “Narcos,” is set to rejig its film and TV strategy as it anticipates heavy losses in 2019. Variety can reveal that the company has all but shut down its TV distribution operations in the U.S., recently axing 12 employees, including Vanessa Shapiro, president of worldwide [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari BTS

    Cinema Audio Society Nominees Represent Wide Range of Genres

    There’s an exceptional level of craftsmanship among this year’s nominees for the Cinema Audio Society Awards, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in sound mixing, a collaborative discipline that requires sound editors, re-recording mixers, Foley and ADR artistry to work together to create a harmonious finished product. The categories considered are: live action, animated and documentary features, [...]

  • My Name is Baghdad

    Reel Suspects Acquires Berlinale Generation Title 'My Name is Baghdad' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Reel Suspects has acquired international sales rights to Caru Alves de Souza’s coming-of-age tale “My Name is Baghdad,” which will world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the Generation 14 section. The film was produced by Manjericão Filmes and Tangerina Entretenimento. It follows a 17-year-old female skater named Baghdad who lives in a working-class [...]

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content