She may look innocent, and maybe even a little cute, but don’t underestimate Peppa Pig.
The young British swine, who first appeared on Channel 5 in 2004, is estimated to be a near-$1.5bn (£1.2bn) global brand thanks to growth in the United States and China, where she has started appearing on the major state television channel.
Entertainment One (EOne), a Canada-headquartered, UK-listed company which owns an 85 per cent Peppa stake, is also anticipating growth in France, Canada and Latin America as it aims to make her a $2bn brand by 2020.
“We’re in the earlier stage in China,” EOne chief financial officer Giles Willits told City A.M. “We’re raising the awareness by creating relationships with CCTV [the state broadcaster]. We’ve also got relationships with the YouTube equivalent in China, where we’ve so far seen over eight billion page views of Peppa in a relatively short period of time.”
He added: “It’s very clear to us that Chinese kids and parents love Peppa Pig and on the back of that we’re building licensing and merchandising opportunities to make sure that we’re maximising the opportunity there.”
EOne believes Peppa retail sales – which the company gets a cut of – can reach $2bn by 2020 and are nearing $1.5bn now.
The EOne family division last week reported first-half revenues of £38m, up 16 per cent year-on-year, and earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of £25m, up 13 per cent on 2015. Peppa Pig is understood to represent around 85 per cent on the division. US revenue for Peppa , meanwhile, was up 275 per cent.
Willits added: “Peppa’s got other territories where it’s growing. It’s got other territories where it’s a very mature brand and it continues to grow.
“And we actually think the opportunity is to take Peppa to about a $2bn retail sales brand. And we’re looking to do that over the next few years.”
He added: “We’re definitely on track to deliver that. We started at $1bn when we first set that target, and we’re about just under half way there by now. And we’ll be a lot closer to it by the end of the year.”