Disruptive Gaming Market Undermines Hasbro Q4 Entertainment & Licensing Profit

Hasbro Feb. 8 reported fiscal-year 2018 (ended Dec. 31, 2018) entertainment and licensing operating profit of $17.3 million – down 82% from operating profit of $96.4 million during the previous-year period. Revenue increased 5% to $298.5 million from $285.6 million last year.

Overall net earnings topped $220.4 million from $397 million last year. Revenue reached $4.6 billion, down from revenue of $5.2 billion during the previous-year period.

The entertainment and licensing segment includes TV shows and movies for theatrical, home entertainment and over-the-top video distribution. Notable theatrical release included “Transformers” spinoff, Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and John Cena (Blockers).

The movie has generated $456.5 million at the global box office, including $124.8 million domestically since its Dec. 21 release.

Hasbro attributed the entertainment and licensing segment decline to a one-time goodwill impairment charge of $86.3 million relating to the company’s acquisition of Boulder, Colo.-based video game developer Backflip Studios.

Hasbro said “the rapidly changing” mobile gaming industry resulted in a modification to its long-term plans for Backflip. The modifications included organizational actions and related personnel changes (i.e. layoffs), the extension of launch dates for games currently in development and the addition of partners for the development of future game releases.

“2018 was a very disruptive year … driven by a rapidly shifting consumer and retail landscape,” CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement.

CFO Deborah Thomas said the ongoing changes resulted in “our global teams focusing] on identifying incremental opportunities to deliver top and bottom line returns.

“Investments include the acquisition of the Power Rangers brand, [box office launch of] Bumblebee and new growth drivers, including Magic: The Gathering Arena and the associated Magic e-sports initiatives,” said Thomas.