TFW2005 attended the Hasbro First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call live today. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to tell about upcoming toys this time. To make matters worse, guess what has been cancelled this year? It’s the Annual Hasbro Fall Investor Day; the very event which let us take a look at all the secret upcoming stuff like Trailers and Toylines. However, investors will be getting some info from Hasbro since they have decided to meet the investors in person.
Find out all this and more, after the jump. As told above, there is not much to tell regarding reveals. Since this is a “Non-Movie Year” it seems as though Transformers is suffering quite a lot. The following statements about the Transformers Franchise were made during the entire hour and a half of the Hasbro First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call:“As 2012 is a non-movie year, it is not surprising that TRANSFORMERS was down in the Boys category. However, although early in the year, the brand is flat with last year on an overall brand revenue standpoint with new initiatives including TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS and BOT SHOTS contributing to the Preschool and Games categories.
Additionally, licensing revenue for TRANSFOMERS grew year over year. Point of sales trends for TRANSFORMERS were up in many countries including the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Mexico. We are also seeing good early success with TRANSFORMERS PRIME as television is now airing in more than 160 countries.
In Preschool, SESAME STREET contributed to the year-over-year gains as did PLAYSKOOL HEROES, with TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS leading PLAYSKOOL HEROES’ growth.
In the Games category, we continue to view 2012 as a year for stabilizing Games with the intent of growing the category in 2013 and beyond. At the end of the first quarter, our retail inventories in Games are down significantly in the U.S. from last year as we restage the business and re-invent our games initiatives beginning in the second half of 2012. Despite this trend, several Games brands grew in the quarter, including continued strong performance from MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and growth in DUEL MASTERS and BATTLESHIP. As we outlined at Toy Fair, we have developed new initiatives which focus on the “gameification” of play and these are off to a good start, including STAR WARS FIGHTER PODS and TRANSFORMERS BOT SHOTS.
Finally, our television initiatives are trending positively. THE HUB ratings are up 32% in the first quarter versus last year in total day kids 2 to 11. As we look at the overall schedule on THE HUB, Hasbro-branded television shows accounted for 6 of the top 10 series in the quarter with Transformers Rescue Bots and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic ranking number one and number two for kids 2-11.
Through a multi-year agreement with Netflix that we signed this month, we have dramatically expanded our audience by 24 million homes. Netflix will be airing ten Hasbro Studios shows, in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including Transformers Prime and My Little Pony. These shows are part of the “Just For Kids” section of Netflix which is performing well. Our approach to television programming has been an all screen strategy from the start, and this agreement dramatically expands the visibility and distribution of our shows.
The Entertainment and Licensing segment first quarter revenues increased 19% to $29.3 million from $24.6 million last year. Revenue growth in the Entertainment and Licensing segment reflects the sale of television programming globally, as well as movie and licensing revenue from TRANSFORMERS.
From an expense standpoint, royalties were 8.1% of revenues compared to 6.4% of revenues in 2011 and reflect strong sales of entertainment properties including, BEYBLADE, MARVEL, STAR WARS and TRANSFORMERS. For the full year 2012, we continue to anticipate royalties to be in the 7 to 8% of revenues range.”
Sadly, the Hasbro Annual Fall Investor Relations Day won’t be happening this year. I’m sure you all may remember what happened last year and the year before. If not, follow the links below to arm yourself with knowledge:
On that bombshell it’s time to wrap up the coverage. Stick around… we’ll be bringing you our live coverage of BotCon 2012 this week.