Q1 dip for Playboy

Firm reports net loss of $3.1 million on revenues of $78.5 million.
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The first quarter ending March 31st 2008, saw revenue drop by eight per cent compared with the prior year quarter. The firm said this was mainly due to continued structural and economic pressures on the firm's domestic media business.

While international licensing and media operations provided some offset, Q1 segment income declined to $0.1 million, compared to $3.9 million in last year's first quarter.

"The quarter's results reflected the dual challenges of structural transformation in our traditional media business and a difficult US economy," said Christie Hefner, chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises. "Our international operations and our core licensing business, which generates a significant portion of revenue from overseas sales, showed solid growth in the quarter.

"However, our goal is not just to contain costs; it is to build shareholder value by generating profitable and sustainable revenue growth," she continued.

"Our brand and our ability to extend the Playboy lifestyle to consumers over a variety of platforms will drive these gains.

"Despite the weakness in the retail sector, we believe the licensing business is on track to report high single digit growth this year compared to last, excluding the sale of artwork in 2007, and we still expect to open additional concept stores this year."

Segment income for the licensing group was $6.7 million, down 13 per cent, on a six per cent revenue decline to $10.5 million compared to 2007's first quarter (this included proceeds of $1.3 million from the sale of original art).

Revenues from international consumer products increased ten per cent in the 2008 first quarter versus last year. Excluding the sale of the art in last year's final quarter, the group's revenues increased five per cent.

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