Character Group is on track for a merry Christmas as profits return

TOY PRODUCER and distributor Character Group may have a jolly Christmas after all, having swung from a loss in the first half of the year to a £720,000 pre-tax annual profit.

The firm, which makes Peppa Pig, Postman Pat and Doctor Who toys, said a 25 per cent jump in international sales had helped offset a quiet first half, when group sales plunged 31 per cent.

Revenues for the year to 31 August were down 10.4 per cent at £67.19m. Pre-tax profits have slumped from £7.08m in the previous year, as flagged up by the firm in a profit warning last November.

“Our ranges this year are now firmly established, in demand and, with some of them already fully sold out for the 2013 Christmas selling season, we look forward to continued growth,” Character Group chairman Richard King said in a statement.

Five toys from the Character Group’s current portfolio are included on the UK Toy Retailers Association’s listings at the industry’s annual Christmas Dream Toys. The firm said its Minecraft range, based on the online game, was proving particularly popular.

Shares in the Aim-listed firm closed up 4.3 per cent at 169p.