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Peppa Pig Joins the $1 Billion Club

Preschool property Peppa Pig has become a $1 billion property. There was no official announcement. Officials of Entertainment One Ltd., which has licensed Peppa to more than 600 licensees worldwide, recently mentioned Peppa’s having sales above $1 billion in discussing the company’s earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31. Even if it was not delivered with fanfare, the news puts Peppa in an elite club of entertainment/character properties, most of them owned by the much larger Walt Disney Co.

The $1 Billion Club

The most recent version of The Licensing Letter’s annual “$100 Million Properties” issue (Nov. 3, 2014) lists 10 entertainment/character properties with over $1 billion in global licensed retail sales based on 2013 data (see the chart below), led by Mickey & Friends and including seven Disney-owned properties.

Properties that we expect to be adding to the list this year (based on information already disclosed by their respective licensors) include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Frozen and Avengers. Among the listed preschool properties, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh was the only brand with over $1 billion in global sales. It rang up $2.8 billion in global retail sales in 2013. The next biggest listed preschool properties were Thomas the Tank Engine (HIT, $926 million), Sesame Street (Sesame Workshop, $923 million) and Dora the Explorer (Viacom, $800 million).

Last Year’s $1 Billion Club
Property Owner Retail Sales, 2013
Mickey & Friends Disney $4.0 billion
Hello Kitty Sanrio $3.9 billion
Disney Princess Disney $2.9 billion
Winnie the Pooh Disney $2.8 billion
Cars Disney $2.3 billion
Star Wars Lucasfilm/Disney $2.2 billion
Angry Birds Rovio $1.9 billion
Monsters University Disney $1.5 billion
Spider-Man Marvel/Disney $1.3 billion
Peanuts Peanuts Worldwide—since acquired by Iconix $1.2 billion

The Peppa Licensing Program

Peppa Pig began airing in the U.K. in 2004. In the U.S., it bounced around Cartoon Network and Noggin before settling on Nick Jr., which currently runs the show seven days a week. It airs in 180 countries around the globe and has licensing programs in 50 countries.

As a licensed brand, Peppa is still getting established in the U.S. Entertainment One signed Jazwares as its master toy partner in 2014, when it also added VTech and Penwizard to existing licensees Fischer-Price, Scholastic and Candlewick Press. In its recent financial report, eOne said the brand launched recently with a small number of lines in Walmart, “which will grow steadily over time and is expected to mirror the growth profile achieved in the U.K.” Peppa products will launch in Target this summer, the company said. The brand is also in Toys R Us.

With an established presence in Italy, Spain and Australia as well as the U.S., eOne is focusing on rolling out Peppa Pig merchandise in new European markets, Brazil and China. The company said mass rollouts for the property are expected in France and Germany in 2016.

eOne owns half of the property’s underlying rights, but controls the worldwide marketing of the brand.

The company’s reported revenue for fiscal 2015, ended March 31, fell 5% to £785.8 million ($1.22 billion), but profit before tax doubled to £44.0 million ($68.2 million). Its film revenues dropped, but were offset by growing TV revenues, including its family and licensing business. Family and licensing revenues grew 71% to £60.8 million ($94.2 million), due largely to Peppa.


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