US: Licensing stars for Playboy

Total net income for 2007 more than doubles, with licensing division making double digit gains.
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Increased sales of branded consumer products have helped Playboy Enterprises to a healthy rise in net income for 2007.

Net income for the period totaled $4.9 million, more than double 2006 net income of $2.3 million. Operating income rose ten per cent for the year to $10 million, on a three per cent increase in revenues to $339.8 million.

However, the firm did report a net loss for its fourth quarter ending December 31st 2007 of $1.1 million. An operating loss of $1.9 million for Q4, versus an operating income of $3.1 million in the prior-year quarter, was recorded.

The firm's licensing division was particularly strong, with segment income rising 17 per cent to $6.9 million in Q4 compared to $5.9 million in the 2006 fourth quarter. Revenues totaled $10.5 million, up 18 per cent in the same time period. Increased sales from consumer products were mainly responsible for the year-over-year revenue and profit growth.

"We continue to be very pleased with the growth and performance of our licensing group," said Christie Hefner, PEI chairman and CEO. "The 40 per cent growth in 2007 full year licensing income reflected solid double digit profit gains in our core consumer products businesses, as well as the first full year of operations of the Playboy venues at the Palms Casino Resort.

"Looking ahead, our strategy is to grow the company leveraging both the high tech and 'high touch' attributes of the Playboy brand. In the media businesses, our first goal is to return our online and mobile properties to strong growth drivers.

"We expect licensing to report another year of growth in our consumer products business as we expand our distribution and product lines, as well as open new Playboy concept stores," Hefner continued. "We also expect to close another location-based entertainment deal, building a pipeline that will provide a steady stream of openings to those high-margin, high profile venues in years to come."

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