Peppa pig maker Character Group swings back into black


Character Group, the firm behind Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam  and Scooby Doo toys, today said it had swung back into the black.

The company, which was hit last year by a number of profit warnings and a disappointing Christmas, added that trading in the six months ending August 31 had been “satisfactory”, and the loss it reported in the first half of the year had been reversed.

This was driven by growing overseas sales, the company said, adding that with “the group’s forecast sales remaining on track for the 2013 calendar year, [this] should lead to a substantially better result for the 2014 financial year”.

The company issued a profits warning in July 2012, which it blamed on a litany of factors including bad weather plus the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

It issued another profits warning in November, saying weak sales of Zhu Zhu Pets and Squinkies toys had forced retailers to delay orders and offer discounts to clear stock. It announced in December that annual profits had tumbled 22% to £7.1 million.

It also warned that the trading period to Christmas would “not produce a satisfactory result”.

Shares in Character Group today rose more than 6% to 146.9p.