Digital gaming spearheaded Hasbro’s 2017 Q1 earnings as the company reported yet another successful quarter. Revenues were up 2% from this time last year. Franchise brands (My Little Pony, Transformers, Monopoly, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Play-Doh, and Littlest Pet Shop) were up 2% led by gains from Transformers, Monopoly, and Nerf. MLP did decline for the quarter, but Hasbro CEO said that brand engagement continues to be ‘high’ as they prepare for an August 1st shelf date for tie-ins to the upcoming movie.
Partner brands did decline 18%, but that was expected as there are Star Wars and Marvel movies coming up later this year. Sales in both those parter brands more than offset games from DreamWorks’ Trolls and Beyblade. Gaming, as mentioned, was up 43% from last quarter (+10% if you throw in Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering). Emerging brands went up 25% for the quarter compared to last year.
Operating profits declined 9% due to an extra week of expenses in the quarter and a shift in the product mix.
Also of note was that this is the first time since 2000 where Hasbro’s quarterly revenue was better than that of Mattel’s who had another rough quarter.
Hasbro looks only set to build on this with the upcoming slate of films such as Transformers: The Last Knight, My Little Pony: The Movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and numerous Marvel movies. We’ll see if MLP will start to grow against after difficult comparison to the highs of 2014 and 2015. Gaming was a pleasant surprise as people are seemingly rediscovering Monopoly and enjoying the plethora of digital gaming options thanks to Hasbro’s Backflip Studios.