Ahead of the Group’s Annual General Meeting being held today (17 January at 11.00hrs), Character provides the following trading update:
The 2019 Christmas trading period was extremely challenging with the total toy market in the UK contracting for the second successive year, and those conditions will impact our results for the first half of the financial year. Sales of our core products were down against the comparable period last year. Nevertheless they performed well with good sell through at retail in the UK.
We enter the 2020 calendar year with a very strong product portfolio and, although the first half results will be below last year, we anticipate that the Group will deliver one of our strongest second half performances to date. Our confidence for the second half has been boosted by the reactions from our customers to recent product previews and presentations. With further viewing opportunities and product launches planned for the London Toy Fair, which takes place next week at Olympia, we expect the momentum to continue.
Despite the anticipated strong finish to the current financial year, the weakened Christmas performance has led the Board to believe that the Group’s profit before tax for the year ending 31 August 2020 will be circa £10m, which is lower than current consensus expectations.