Toy maker’s profits halved before pandemic took hold worldwide

Character Group

Pre-tax profits halved at toy maker Character Group as it braces itself for more difficulties ahead.

It had already warned of subdued sales over Christmas and today has published its half-year results to February showing a 12% fall in revenue. It generated £51.7m sales, but pre-tax profits were just £2.5m – down 55% on the previous year.

The group’s product ranges include Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, Doctor Who, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat and Teletubbies.

In a statement to the stock market, the company said: “We cannot hope to make up the sales that we lose during the period of lockdowns in our markets.”

The Oldham-based company remains positive that it will remain profitable despite the impact of the pandemic.

“With the quality of our brand portfolio, the strength of our customer relationships and the resilience of our cash-generative business model, the board expects to achieve a profit in the second half and, accordingly, for the current financial year as a whole,” it added.

Character Group’s share price has already suffered in the last year, falling from a high of 590p to a five-year low of 180p in March. Last night’s close of 250p remains nearly 60% below the levels enjoyed last July.