NPD: UK holding its own with European neighbours

2011 growth on track for four per cent; France and Germany top league, but Southern Europe is cautious.
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The UK toy market is performing strongly when compared to its immediate neighbours in Europe so far this year, according to NPD Eurotoys.

The UK toy sector is recording a four per cent growth in value in the first seven months of 2011, which represent 37 per cent of annual sales. This is in line with NPD's expectations and its forecast remains at four per cent growth for the year.

Meanwhile, NPD has noticed that Southern Europe is seeing negative trends to date (Italy, Spain and Portugal), while France and Germany top the league with seven per cent and eight per cent growth respectively at the end of July.

Southern Europe is cautious about year-end prospects at the moment, and NPD expects them to be down by one per cent, while France and Germany remain optimistic, with five per cent for both.

Back to the UK, and the key drivers have been arts and crafts, building sets, dolls and plush. “A closer look at sales demographics highlights the strength of the eight to 11 year old kids market, which is up 23 per cent versus the first half of 2010,” Frédérique Tutt, European analyst at NPD Eurotoys, told ToyNews.

“Obviously, this is excellent news for the industry and can be explained by the launch or relaunch of some exciting new concepts appealing to older age groups such as Nerf, Beyblade, Monster High and Lego Ninjago, and the excellent performance of some perennials such as Star Wars, Barbie, Crayola and Lego System.”

Tutt also said that NPD expects pre-school and especially pre-school electronic learning toys to experience stronger sales in the run up to Christmas, thanks to high profile launches from VTech and LeapFrog.


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