Surprising the market, who’s lower expectations for the company were based at least partially on weaker performance by Mattel, Hasbro on Monday reported a 13 percent net revenue growth in 2016. That put the company’s total year revenue over $5 billion for the first time. Following the news, Hasbro’s stock hit a new high and closed up 14 percent.
The company’s performance in the games category was strong. Led by sales of Pie Face and Magic: The Gathering, revenue grew 9 percent year-on-year.
Hasbro’s strongest growth was in its partner brands category, which was up 28 percent on the success of Disney Princess, Disney Frozen, Dreamworks’ Trolls, and Yo-Kai Watch.
On the subject of the company’s largest individual game brand, CEO Brian Goldner reported that 2016 was the 8th straight year of growth for Magic: The Gathering. He also suggested that consumers would start seeing some results from the Magic Digital Next initiative before the end of the year.
Magic Digital Next, which has been an investment for a number of years, and will continue to be a bit of an investment this year because of course late this year you’ll start to see some of the evidence of what the team has been working on as they begin to put that platform out to the market.
Hasbro also revealed an interesting change in its approach to financial reporting:
Beginning with the first quarter, we will no longer report revenue along the boys, games, girls, and preschool categories. Instead, we will provide a revenue breakdown of franchise brands, partner brands, Hasbro Gaming, and emerging brands. We believe this is a more relevant and appropriate view of our business.
Later Monday afternoon, Hasbro announced the appointment of John Frascotti as President of the company—he was previously President of Hasbro Brands. Brian Goldner remains with the company and will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.