Bluebird flies into record profits
Thursday 09 March 1995
Sales of a tiny plastic doll and a collection of gruesome monsters helped drive profits at Bluebird Toys to a record high, according to Torquil Norman, chairman.
The results, slightly ahead of expectations, will fuel speculation that the Wiltshire toy company could be the subject of a bid by a US or Japanese games giant such as Mattel or Hasbro.
Pre-tax profits doubled to £19.7m on turnover of £99.4m, up 44 per cent from £68.9m in 1993.
The growth was achieved thanks mainly to the popularity among girls of the Polly In My Pocket range of palm-sized toys launched three years ago. It has been expanded to include a Tiny World range and, from May, a new range called Mimi and the Goo Goos.
Mighty Max, the boys' range of fighting monsters, continued to increase sales - but there was increasing pressure from Mighty Morfin Power Rangers, the toy that proved a big-seller last Christmas .
The profits increase was achieved despite a flat retail climate in Britain and the exhaustion last year of tax credits relating to past losses. Mr Norman said the progress made by the Peter Pan subsidiary, which sells mainstream models and kits, and the imminent launch of Mimi inspired confidence in trading in 1995.
"However, we are not looking for fireworks," he added.
The burgeoning cash mountain has led the company to seek shareholder permission at the forthcoming annual meeting to buy back shares.
Analysts in the City said the figures suggested a quiet year for profits growth in 1995 and the development of new ranges to take the company forward in 1995. "They need to find new products or develop Mighty Max if they want to avoid becoming a one-product company," warned Ian Berry, of Beeson Gregory, the stockbrokers.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...