Hasbro Q2 results mixed

Revenue down on year-ago Transformers, GI Joe boost

NEW YORK - Iron Man alone isn't quite a match for the combined power of Transformers and G.I. Joe.

Despite solid sales related to this year's "Iron Man 2" movie release, toy giant Hasbro on Monday reported lower second-quarter revenue than in the year-ago period, which had benefitted from the initial product ship-ins for the 2009 "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" films.

But the company cited its strong brands and execution in posting a higher quarterly profit.

Hasbro reported a 7% revenue decline to $737.8 million in the latest quarter.Still, profit of $43.6 million rose 11%. Of the revenue decrease, $174 million was tied to "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe." But "Iron Man" toy sales following the movie sequel this year continue to be up strongly from the first movie, and management on Monday predicted more strength going into the fall.

"We are executing our long-term strategy by re-imagining, re-inventing and re-igniting our global brand portfolio, which in turn is improving profitability in our business," said president and CEO Brian Goldner.

Hasbro also still expects to grow revenue in 2010, reiterating Monday that revenue will be more weighed to the second half of the year.

Here some highlights from Monday morning's earnings conference call:

* During TCA in early August, The Hub, a TV network joint venture with Discovery Communications set to launch 10/10, will announce latest programming additions.
Blue-chip advertisers have already signed up for media buys, Goldner said.

* The CEO reiterated his long-term guidance for $300 million in incremental toy sales thanks to The Hub and the sale of its shows internationally.

* The Transformers brand has seen more typical post-movie year sales trends this year, but next year will benefit from both a new movie and TV show on The Hub, Goldner highlighted. He mentioned that production of the third "Transformers" film, set  to hit the big screen on July 1 2011, is under way, but he didn't provide expectations or latest details.

* "Battleship" production starts in the coming months for a 2012 movie release.

* Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head sales are somewhat benefitting from "Toy Story 3," but not majorly, Goldner said.
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