Headlines of 2010: July to December

Martin Yaffe closes, but BLE soars among big news stories.
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BBC Worldwide sales surpass £1bn for second year (July 5th)

BBC Worldwide saw its overall sales rise by seven per cent to £1,074 million in the 12 months to March 31st 2010, exceeding the £1 billion mark for a second year. Six of BBC Worldwide's seven operating divisions grew sales, despite tough trading conditions in many markets. Operating profits increased 36.5 per cent to £145.2 million, with double digit profit growth in five divisions.
Global Brands - where Children's & Licensing sits - reported sales of £218.2 million, up 15.1 per cent on the previous year, and profit of £44.1 million, up 39.1 per cent.

Martin Yaffe in administration (July 16th)

Key Manchester-based toy licensee closes its doors, with Leonard Curtis appointed as administrator.

E1 Entertainment becomes Entertainment One (July 26th)

Firm introduces new brand identity to be used across all of its entertainment and distribution operations. Entertainment One (eOne) has also moved from London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) to the Main List of the London Stock Exchange.

Toy Story 3 smashes box office records (July 29th)

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 opened in the UK with £21.2 million, surpassing its closest rival by almost 30 per cent. The latest movie in the franchise broke records for The Walt Disney Company whose previous biggest opening was £13.7 million for Pirates 2. Toy Story 3 is also the second biggest film opening ever in the UK, just behind Harry Potter 3, and the biggest July opening to date.


Roy Lowe takes on 165-mile bike challenge (Aug 11th)

They're known for their commitment to fund raising for the industry charity The Light Fund - employing some very persuasive methods in some cases - but Roy Lowe & Sons last venture actually involved some physical activity on their part.
Martin Lowe, Richard Radford and Dean Greasley cycled the 165 miles from their offices in North Nottinghamshire to The Licensing Awards on a specially made three-man tandem to raise funds for the industry charity.

Metrodome completes Target Entertainment acquisition (Aug 16th)

Metrodome buys the shares of both Target's rights' businesses, including its distribution and consumer products teams, its film and entertainment production labels, Pink Sands and Target US.
As well as the immediate purchase price and working capital, Metrodome has said it will significantly invest in the company with a total spend of £3 million.
Alison Rayson, Target's founder, will remain as chief executive as well as taking a seat on Metrodome's board.


Janet Woodward teams with Jane Evans (Sept 1st)

Former Coolabi exec, Janet Woodward brings her 20 years of industry experience to Jane Evans Licensing Consultancy, coming on board as director.
Woodward will work with JELC MD, Jane Evans, on a range of expansion plans for the business. These will include moves aross a number of brands and categories, developing the portfolio, further increasing revenue and bringing in new deals.

Licensing Awards: The Winners
(Sept 10th)

Over 1,000 guests attend the sell out Licensing Awards Ball, hosted by comedian Chris Addison, to witness which UK retailers, suppliers and licensors were feted with the licensing industry’s top accolades.

Steve Manners returns to CPLG
(Sept 16th)

CPLG appoints Steve Manners as executive vice president and director of entertainment.
Manners - who was previously MD, UK Entertainment at the agency between 2001 and 2004 - will focus on client management and new business development in his new role.

RDF rebrands as Zodiak Media Group (Sept 22nd)

Zodiak Entertainment and RDF Media Group are rebranded under a new group banner.
The move follows the acquisition of RDF by Zodiak, which was completed in June. The new company brings together production and rights companies from across Europe, the US, South America and Asia.

Nickelodeon names Hayward product VP (Sept 28th)

Nickelodeon Consumer Products appoints Trudi Hayward as its new vice president for UK & Australia regions - with Clare Piggott leaving her role to pursue other opportunities.
In turn Jeremy Poreca will relocate from Nickelodeon Consumer Products’ New York based offices to join the firm’s London team as director of international retail development.


Record numbers for extended Brand Licensing Europe (Oct 7th)

A total of 5,634 visitors visited BLE in 2010, a 16 per cent increase on 2009. Total attendance, including exhibitors, reached 7,329. The show also recorded a rise in overseas visitor numbers, with a 37 per cent increase on 2009. Retail attendance also increased by 15 per cent.

LIMA UK breaks 100 member milestone (Oct 26th)

The UK division of industry trade body LIMA has surged through the 100 member mark for the first time in five years - with MD Kelvyn Gardner now setting his sights on overall membership of 250.
Art Ask Agency, Blueprint, Chapman Entertainment, Global Sports Licensing, JCB Consumer Products, Intelligence and Investigation Services - IP Crime Unit, Sagoo, Shipley, The Extreme Sports Company and V&S Entertainment are the most recent additions.


Changes continue at CPLG, as Chris Protheroe takes on new role (Nov 4th)

A restructure following the departure of Katarina Dietrich sees Chris Protheroe take on the newly created role of president and group managing director at licensing agency, CPLG.
Protheroe - who, as well as being a director of CPLG, held the position of MD of CPLG Sport for ten years - will work alongside Steve Manners, the recently appointed EVP and director of entertainment.

Licensing.biz soars past 40,000 unique visitors (Nov 3rd)

The latest Google Analytics audit shows that Licensing.biz attracted 42,093 unique visitors between October 1st and 31st, a record figure for the site.
On top of this, page views soared to an all-time high of 95,502 during the same period. The figures show strong growth for the site year on year, up 64 per cent (uniques) and 35 per cent (pages).

Shine Group shows licensing ambitions with new hire (Nov 23rd)

Shine Group is making its move into the licensing business - hiring former Hit Entertainment and Chorion exec, Lori Heiss, as its new global brand manager.
Heiss will take on the position from January 4th 2011. While her remit includes the development of the ongoing strategy for all Shine Group-owned brands, her initial focus will be on MasterChef, which the company has produced in the UK since 2005.


Chorion the latest to be linked to Hit buyout
(Dec 6th)

Chorion is apparently shortlisting three private equity firms to fund a takeover of Hit Entertainment. The Sunday Times reported (in an unsourced story), that the firm has been securing funding for a January bid for Apax Partner's Hit Entertainment, which is being auctioned for up to £1 billion.

Hasbro Studios seals key deal with Turner Broadcasting (Dec 13th)

Hasbro Studios and Turner Broadcasting EMEA strike a programming deal covering four key properties, including the highly anticipated Transformers Prime.
The deal runs throughout the UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Middle East and will kick off in summer 2011. Turner Broadcasting will carry episodes of Transformers Prime, The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, Pound Puppies and My Little Pony on Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito.


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