LONDON, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Summary of HY2017:
Revenue in the period to February 2017 was £61.5m, against £65.2m in the comparable 2016 period (year ended 31 August 2016 £121m). Geographically our revenue split in the period remained consistent with the comparable 2016 period and was - United Kingdom 76% (2016: 76%), Rest of the World (including USA) 24% (2016: 24%).
- Core group of products continue to have brand strength in depth
- The recently launched Stretch range has importantly already established itself as one of Character's top brands in the UK and internationally
- Gross profit level holding well despite increased purchasing costs due to weakness of sterling
- Strong balance sheet and highly cash generative model with net cash at bank of GBP18.6m at HY 17
- Proposed dividend of 9.0p up 28.6% on comparative period
- Major range extensions currently in development for Peppa, Little Live Pets, Teletubbies, Stretch, Mashems and Minecraft
- The Group remains on target to achieve current market expectations for the full financial year to 31 August 2017
"Our continued market leading position in the UK ensures that we remain the partner of choice for many of the leading brand owners and we remain confident in our ability to further expand our presence both domestically and internationally in the years to come." - Jon Diver, Joint MD, Character Group
"Profitable, cash generative with a strong balance sheet; a set of solid results in challenging market conditions and against the backdrop of significant growth in the comparative period. Character remains the UK's leading independent toy company." - Mark Dowding, Group FD, Character Group
"The Board's continued confidence gained from these results and the current outlook for the business enable it to declare an increased interim dividend of 9.0 pence per share, up 28.6% on last year. As previously communicated we have instigated several specific measures to improve operational efficiency to mitigate the adverse effect of increased stock purchase costs arising as a result of the weakness of sterling. We are pleased to say that good progress has been made on these initiatives and material cost savings are now coming through, this gives us confidence on our ability to meet current market forecasts." - Kiran Shah, Joint MD, Character Group
Our strategic focus remains: "To seek out and develop exciting products which meet domestic and international market demand". Our portfolio continues to be derived from, both our own-developed in-house ranges, including those produced 'under licence', and others sourced through exclusive distribution agreements. We continue to have great strength and depth across our brands and a wide range of long term customers and suppliers; potential concentration risk is well diversified.
A number of new products are currently in development for launch this calendar year across our core ranges - Peppa, Little Live Pets, Teletubbies, Stretch, Mashems and Minecraft. In particular, there are a number of exciting developments on the 'Stretch' range, which we believe will create a strong level of sales later this calendar year and beyond. Once again, the positive customer feedback we have received in relation to these iterations within existing brands and on other new products to be distributed in the near future provide the Board with great confidence in its view that the Group will continue to achieve consistently good results for the remainder of this financial year and beyond.
The Full Report can be read at http://www.thecharacter.com or at http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/CCT/13206101.html .
Product ranges can be viewed at http://www.character-online.co.uk.
SOURCE The Character Group plc