Disney’s red-hot third quarter earningsfeatured 16% year-over-year growth in consumer products, aka merchandise.
The company is seeing major growth there and across divisions from brands it bought in recent years, including Pixar, which it bought in 2006 for $US7.4 billion, Marvel Entertainment, which it bought in 2009 for $US4.6 billion, and Lucasfilm, which it acquired in 2012 for $US4.1 billion. The 91-year-old company also has its own powerful brands.
On its earnings conference call, Vasily Karasyov, an analyst at Sterne Agee, asked for clarification on Disney’s three billion-dollar brands and was corrected by chairman and CEO Bob Iger, who said the company now had eight:
Karasyov: You mentioned that you now have three $US1 billion franchise properties in consumer products revenue. I think I know two of them, Princess and Star Wars. Do you mind telling me what the third one is?
Iger: The third one is followed by five others and we have eight. Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Monsters, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Cars, Disney Junior, and Princess … And all over $US1 billion in global retail sales in fiscal 2014.
As the world’s top licensor, Disney generated a record $US41 billion from licensed merchandise in 2013, a significant increase from $US28.6 billion in 2010, according to a June report by Variety.
Also coming down the pipe (assuming Disney counts them separately), Disney could see major merchandise growth for Frozen and non-Spider-Man Marvel characters.
Asked about further mergers and acquisitions, Iger said the company was “spending a fair amount of time and capital investing in the assets that we currently have.”
Appearing on the CNBC, Iger specifically called out the success of Marvel, including its latest hit in “Guardians of the Galaxy“: “It’s not just about a good movie, it’s about that the Marvel brand has arrived.”
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