The Character Group has reported a “very strong performance” for the half-year ending February, 28 2021 with a turnover increase of 44 per cent to £74.5 million, and underlying pre-tax profit of £6.1m.
The toy firm has attributed the successful first half year trading to the strength of its portfolio of brands, with expectations for growth to continue through the second half of the financial year, and beyond Christmas 2021. The group has seen success in building sales growth momentum across both the international and domestic markets.
Goo Jit Zu is penetrating all major international markets, with distribution already achieved in more than 40 countries. The Character Group’s other major brands (Peppa Pig, Pokémon, Little Live Pets, Shimmer ‘n Sparkle InstaGlam, Stretch Armstrong, Fireman Sam, Scooby Doo) are also exceeding expectations.
In addition, there has been a focus on developing a sustainable, eco-friendly range of products over numerous brands with the new “World of Licensed Wood” range. This now includes a comprehensive selection of figures, vehicles and playsets. Licences within the range currently include Peppa Pig, Disney Princess and Fireman Sam.
There is also an Eco-Plush multi-licensed collection, which is being enthusiastically embraced by the industry and consumers alike.
Meanwhile, a partnership with Moonbug Entertainment has seen the creation of a master toy line for the new pre-school property, My Magic Pet Morphle – a range that will launch later this year.
The statement issued by The Group today ended with an outlook for the second-half of the financial year: “In the shorter term there are challenges, with the underlying delays at ports, shipping shortages and opportunistic pricing on freight rates (all principally fall-out resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic) and mounting pressure on the costs of production in China.
“However, with the substantial increase in Group sales in the first half, we have continued to see a strong performance from sales of our product portfolio in all our territories from the commencement of the second half of the year. This growth is forecast to continue through to and beyond Christmas 2021 and we are on target to deliver the best performance in a calendar year in the Group’s history.
“By working tirelessly and in close partnership with our customers, suppliers and brand owners, our personnel have delivered a seamless, efficient and safe transition from the old to the new “normal”. Every one of our team members has played a significant role in this achievement and, on behalf of the Board and all the Group’s stakeholders, the Group wishes to express their gratitude to them.”