Hasbro released its first quarter results on Monday, announcing earnings of $1.2 million, vs. a $246 million loss in the year ago quarter after an accounting change, and a $17 million loss before the change. The company cited improving game sales, especially the 20th Anniversary Edition of Trivial Pursuit and non-licensed card games (of which Magic: The Gathering is the biggest property), as a major reason for the improvement in profits. Game segment sales were up 21% vs. the year ago quarter, with the increases mentioned more than offsetting drops in licensed trading card games, including Pokemon. Operating profits in the games segment were $18 million vs. a loss of $2.5 million last year.
Toy sales dropped 24% from $201 million to $153 million, caused primarily by drops in licensed lines, especially Star Wars. Strong brands in toys included Transformers and Beyblade. Operating profits in the segment were down to $5.3 million vs. a profit of $26 million last year.
International sales and profitability also improved, with sales up 29% to $175 million from $136 million last year. Losses declined in the international segment from $29 million a year ago to a $6 million loss this year.