Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) reported strong revenue during the holiday period, helped by a surge in demand for light sabers, action figures and other toys tied to “Star Wars.”
Hasbro’s deep lineup of toys related to the blockbuster film led to a 35% sales increase in its boys segment, helping overall revenue rise 13% to $1.47 billion.
Chief Executive Brian Goldner said the company’s overall “Star Wars” business for the year was “very similar” to the nearly $500 million the company made in 2005 when the last installment of the movie hit theaters. And the company forecasts “Star Wars” sales this year to be around that level again.
Hasbro shares rose 1.5% in early trading to $75.23, bringing year-to-date gains to 11.8%.
Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) “Star Wars” was a boon to the toy industry last year, as collectors and kids clamored for new toys tied to the newest feature film in a decade. It was the largest toy property in 2015, helping the overall industry grow toy sales 6.7% last year, according to the NPD Group Inc., the best results in more than a decade.
With “Star Wars” performing well, Hasbro is trying to bolster its girls division which reported a 17% decline last year. It is seeking to add more Disney licenses geared toward girls. Hasbro recently started selling Disney’s princess and “Frozen” dolls, having snatched the license from rival Mattel Inc.
Hasbro’s overall earnings rose 3.4% to $175.8 million. Sales in the U.S. and Canada rose 29% to $690.8 million. The effect of foreign-exchange hurt the international segment, which posted a more modest gain of 2.9% to $690.8 million.