The Investment Column: US blow to Bluebird Toys
Tuesday 25 November 1997
The latest warning was caused by a bombshell from Mattel, the US toy giant which distributes Polly Pocket, Bluebird's best selling toy outside of the UK. It has decided not to sell Polly Pocket at all in North America next year ahead of a relaunch of the brand in 1999. This is a serious blow for Bluebird as sales of Polly Pocket in North America will account for 7 per cent of group revenues this year.
Investors should be concerned on two counts. One is the immediate impact on the bottom line. Profits are expected to come in at around pounds 5m-pounds 6m this year compared to previous forecasts of some pounds 8.5m.
The second issue is whether Mattel will work as hard on marketing Polly Pocket outside the US when it is not being sold in its main market. Given that Polly Pocket accounts for almost half of Bluebird's annual sales, this is a serious concern.
It may be that Mattel is cooling on Polly completely and will decide not to relaunch it in the US after all. Given a plethora of other, reasonably priced goodies to tempt children these days - the Tamagotchi virtual pet for one - Polly Pocket may have run out of puff. A rescue bid or management buy-out is a possibility, particularly with the company valued at little more than its pounds 15m cash pile.
On a forward multiple of just 10, the share price reflects these worries. The crucial Christmas period also looms. Unattractive on fundamentals.
- 1 School playground evacuated over 'unusually aggressive' grey squirrel
- 2 Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
- 3 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 4 Today was a bad day for renters, landlords, and democracy
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
At least 100 dead after Islamists launch attack on Nigerian mosque
Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...