One of the week’s biggest media stories has been Hugh Hefner’s $185 million proposal to take Playboy private and a competing $210 million bid from Penthouse magazine’s parent company, FriendFinder.
When people think of Playboy, they tend mostly to think about pictures of naked ladies.
But Playboy Enterprises is transitioning into a “brand management company,” and as a corporation, it has a lot more going on than just the magazine.
The company is still losing money, but less than it used to.
In the first quarter of 2010, Play Enterprises narrowed its net loss to $1 million from $13.7 million the in the first quarter of 2009. Print/digital losses were slimmed to $1 million from $3.6 million. And licensing income rose 17% to $6.5 with licensing revenues up 6% to $9.9 million.
Playboy has three business groups: Entertainment, Print/Digital, and Licensing.
In the US, Playboy is the best-selling monthly magazine for men. The U.S. edition is read by one in every 10 men in the country, between the ages of 18 and 34, and has a base rate of 1.5 million.
In the first quarter of 2010, domestic magazine revenues decreased $6.4 million (48%), compared to the prior year quarter.
Subscription revenues decreased $4.8 million (48%).
Newsstand revenues decreased $0.4 million (35 %).
Advertising revenues decreased $1.5 million (53%).
The Print/Digital group includes 27 international editions (though it's 26 now, after the Portugese edition got canned for depicting Jesus among naked ladies), and around 9 million adults read the international editions every month, for a total of 18 million readers globally. Some of the countries Playboy is published include: Estonia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Slovenia, Romania, and Indonesia.
International magazine revenues decreased $0.2 million (10%) in the first quarter.
Playboy.com has more than 5 million unique global visitors and 45 million page views monthly. Digital revenues decreased in Q1 2010 to $1.0 million (10 %).
Playboy's licensed products generate over $900 million in global retail sales by selling merchandise in more than 150 countries and territories. In 2006 Playboy opened a venue in Las Vegas with the Palms Casino Resort, which features a 30-foot tall Rabbit head on one of the buildings.
In the entertainment branch, Playboy TV was launched in 1982 and today exists in over 100 countries. The playboy-themed shows ('The Girls Next Door, 'Kendra,' and 'The House Bunny'), are produced by E! Entertainment Television and Sony Pictures as third-party networks. Playboy Radio started in 2002 and has over 20 million subscribers. It costs $12.95 per month with the first 30 days free.
Overall Q1 2010 entertainment revenue decreased $9.5 million (15 %), compared to the same quarter last year. Domestic TV revenues were flat. International TV revenues decreased $ 1.3 million (12 %), compared to the prior year quarter.
Corporate expenses decreased $ 0.5 million (7 % ) in Q1 2010, compared to the prior year quarter.
'Despite the current economic conditions, we believe we continue to have the liquidity to meet our needs. At March 31, 2010, we had $25.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and there were no borrowings and $0.8 million in teers of credit outstanding under our $30.0 million revolving credit facility, resulting in $29.2 million of available borrowings under this facility. We believe our cash generated from operating activities in additon to our cash and borrowing capacity will be sufficient to meet our liquidity needs through 2011.'
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