Licensing stars for Hasbro

Transformers 2 and GI Joe help lift segment net revenues to $41.6m for Q3.
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The success of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and GI Joe helped Hasbro's entertainment and licensing division to some solid revenues in the third quarter.

The firm reported segment net revenues of $41.6 million, compared to $18.3 million in 2008. Operating profit, meanwhile, was $19.8 million compared to $6.3 million in 2008.

The entertainment and licensing division includes television, movies, lifestyle and digital licensing, plus online entertainment operations.

Elsewhere, Hasbro reported group net revenues of $1.28 billion, compared to $1.30 billion a year ago for the third quarter. Net earnings stood at $150.4 million versus $138.2 million in 2008, while operating profit was $230.7 million, compared to $215.9 million last year.

The results also include a $0.03 per share dilutive impact form the company's investment in its joint venture with Discovery Communications and initial investments in Hasbro's virtual studio.

"Hasbro perfomed well in what is continuing to be a challenging global environment," said Brian Goldner, president and CEO. "We grew revenues absent the impact of foreign exchange and we grew earnings and earnings per share including the dilution from the investments we are making in our joint venture with Discovery Communications and Hasbro's virtual studio.

"We believe we can grow revenues in 2009 if our consumer retail takeaway continues to improve in line with recent fourth quarter trends. We also continue to believe that the underlying strength of our brands and our commitment to our strategy will enable us to grow earnings per share in 2009, including the expected dilution from our television investment."

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