Inside Licensing News and Notes, November 28, 2017

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Rovio Entertainment’s Consumer Products Revenue Declines

Rovio Entertainment’s consumer product licensing revenue dropped 40% to €1.9 million in Q3 ended Sept. 30, a decline driven by the ending of many agreements tied to the 2016 Angry Birds film, Rovio said in releasing its first earnings report since its IPO in September.

Overall, the licensing segment’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved to a €4 million profit from a €1.9 million loss a year earlier as revenue from content licensing more than tripled to €4.8 million. Rovi’s total licensing revenue rose 55% to €6.7 million.

Meanwhile, Rovio posted an €800,000 loss, down from a €3.9 million profit a year earlier. Rovio’s game-related revenue increased 40% to €63.9 million led by its Angry Birds 2, Blast, Evolution and Battle Bay titles.

In an effort to expand business beyond Angry Birds, Hatch Entertainment, which is 80% owned by Rovio, launched a beta test in Finland of a new game streaming service using Android Google Play.

Contact:

Simo Hamalainen, SVP Brand Licensing, +358 50 585 9757, simo.hamalainen@rovio.com

Movado’s U.S. Retail Sales Decline 21.9%

Movado’s U.S. retail business broke even in Q3 ended Sept. 30, down from a $12.2 million operating profit a year as the company struggled with a “challenging” market, CEO Efraim Grinberg told analysts.

The wholesale business posted a 21.9% decline in sales to $67.3 million despite department store business “starting to grow” with fashion watches, including those with the Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Hugo Boss labels, company executives said.

Movado also launched sales of Rebecca Minkoff licensed watches during Q3 at Nordstrom. Sales of Coach watches, including one combined with Peanuts’ Snoopy, also were strong sellers, especially in international markets, Grinberg said.

The international wholesale segment reported a 35% increase in operating profit to $22.2 million as revenue jumped 34.7% to $105 million, an increase driven by a 30% gain in the sales of licensed brands in Europe, Middle East, Latin America and Asia. Overall licensed brand sales increased 9.6% to $95 million. Overall, Movado’s Q3 net income slipped 14.2% to $17.3 million despite a 6% rise in sales to $190 million. Meanwhile, Movado said it has renewed its license for Hugo Boss, extending it to Dec. 31, 2023. At same time, Movado said it’s isn’t renewing its license for Juicy Couture watches that expires Dec. 31.

Contact:

Movado, Craig Massa, National Sales Mgr. Licensed Brands, 201- 867-8000

Lifetime Brands Slashing Product Line

Lifetime Brands will slash its product lines, capping a two-year revamping effort that will sharpen focus on some profitable licensed brands such as Sabatier and Mossy Oak and lower inventories, a company spokeswoman said.

“We are going to discontinue some older product lines with limited profit and sales potential,” CEO Jeffrey Siegel told analysts. “We are much more focused on developing products that offer us greater profit potential.”

As part of this effort, Lifetime is shipping licensed iron kitchenware, including skillets and grill pans, under the Sabatier and Mossy Oak brands, Siegel said. The moves follow the company reporting a 32.8% decline in net income to $4.3 million in Q3 ended Sept. 30. Lifetime’s wholesale revenue fell 1.8% to $137.1 million as it held back shipments to some retailers for credit reasons, CEO Jeffrey Siegel told analysts. However, shipments resumed this month, Siegel said. Overall, Lifetime’s total revenue dropped 2.4% to $165 million.

Contact:

Lifetime Brands, Evan Miller, VP, 516 683 8000

Agencies

Alfilo is representing the Victoria & Albert Museum for licensing in China, including seeking companies to build online and brick and mortar stores. Alfilo will focus on deals for apparel and home products. The V&A houses the T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art in London and launched Design Society earlier this year with the China Merchants Group to operate the Seaworld Culture and Arts Center that is slated to open in Shenzhen, China in December… Alibaba Entertainment Licensing signs to bring animation studio Millimages’ Molang characters into China for licensing for the first time. It also is the non-exclusive agent for the property in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. The licensed products are expected to be introduced in China in spring 2018, a Millimages spokeswoman said. Molang, which launched in China in October with 104 episodes on the iQiYi video-on-demand platform, has more than 150 licensees globally, including Jazwares in the U.S. It also has been promoted in recent months with emojis on Tencent’s Wechat instant message service. Alibaba has worked with other companies in the past to expand their licensing presence in China including Rovio Entertainment for Angry Birds in 2016…. The Brand Liaison is representing greeting card company Carte Blanche as the company seeks to license its Me To You, Tiny Tatty Teddy and other brands in the U.S. for the first time across home goods, stationery and other products

Contacts:

Alfilo Licensing, Yizan He, CEO, +86-21-60-400-967, yzh@alfilo.com

Millimages, Laurence Papon, Head of Licensing, +33 1 49 29 49 69

Alibaba Entertainment Licensing, Danqing Hu, Dir., +86 571-8502-2088

LaurDIY Breaking into Retail

YouTube and social media brand LaurDIY is breaking into retail with adult sleepwear. Licensee The Kersheh Group is launching an exclusive adult LaurDIY onsie sleepwear collection at the 400-store Canadian retailer Ardene, a program that will include in-store appearances by LaurDIY creator Lauren Riihimaki. Earlier this month the LaurDIY apparel was introduced as a limited time offer through Kersheh’s SleepRiot.com web site and sold “thousands” of units, says The Brand Liaison’s Steven Heller, whose agency represents Riihimaki.

Contact:

The Brand Liaison. Steven Heller, Pres., 855-843-5424 x702, steven@thebrandliaison.com

 

Rocky Brands Sells Creative Recreation

Rocky Brands sold Creative Recreation to an unidentified private firm, ending a four-year run. The sale, terms of which weren’t disclosed, encompasses Creative’s trademarks and licensing agreements, including one with UK-based JD Sports for t-shirts and outerwear. Rocky purchased Creative from Kommonwealth for $11 million in 2013. While Rocky CEO Jason Brooks said earlier this year that the company was seeking to make Creative a “more significant topline contributor,” he also scaled back the brand in closing its Los Angeles offices and combining them with the company’s Nelsonville, Ohio headquarters. Rocky’s lifestyle revenue, which included sales of Creative sneakers, declined 33.4% to $15.5 million in the year ended Dec. 31.

Contact:

Rocky Brands, Thomas Robertson, Chief Financial Officer, 740-753-1951