Marvel sees Spiderman upswing

Successful third film and licensing initiatives for comic book hero help Q3 net income more than double.
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Marvel Entertainment has seen its Q3 income and sales surge past analysts expectations, with strong contributions from the Spider-man 3 licensing and merchandising programme pushing the company onwards and upwards.

For Q3 2007, Marvel reported net income rose to $36.3m compared to $13.2m in Q3 2006. The firm's worldwide licensing operations have been attributed to the growth, along with the publishing segment of the business.

Marvel's chairman, Morton Handel, said: "Marvel achieved strong operating results across all its businesses for the third quarter and nine months ending September 30th 2007. Licensing segment results benefited from strong contributions related to Spider-man 3 consumer merchandise licensing.

"The publishing segment continues to benefit from strong sales of event-driven imprints such as World War Hulk and Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Finally, our toy licence agreement with Hasbro yielded an improved operating income contribution to the 2007 period, largely due to fees from Spider-man 3-based products."

Handel continued: "We are excited by the progress on our Iron Man and Incredible Hulk feature films for next year and the growing retail and consumer product support for these properties.

"We are also focused on tapping the potential of Marvel properties online, and are poised to unveil the first stage of that evolution by the end of 2007."

Iron Man is currently due for release in May 2008, followed by The Incredible Hulk in June. Video games are already being planned by Sega. A writer and director have also been engaged for Ant-Man.

The Spider-man brand will continue to be bolstered with a forthcoming live stage show, for which music and lyrics will be written by U2's Bono and The Edge.

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