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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police
Scottish independence referendum live - The reunited kingdom: Scotland gives a clear 'No' to independence in historic referendum
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...
Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...