Peppa Pig still bringing home the bacon at Entertainment One

The production company behind Peppa Pig has hailed a strong performance in its family and music divisions as it lines up a slate of new releases.

In a trading update ahead of full-year results, the company said it was on track to meet management expectations.

Underlying earnings in its family & brands arm, which includes the successful Peppa Pig franchise, were up by over 25% in the year to March 31.

Peppa Pig World
(Peppa Pig World/PA)

It follows a year in which the brand continued to grow globally, with theme park operator Merlin Entertainments opening two Peppa Pig World of Play centres during the period. Four more are expected to open in the next year.

PJ Masks, another animated series, also found success with growth of over 40% year on year. The franchise accounts for 37% of family revenues, while Peppa Pig represents 57%.

In music, a back catalogue including songs by the Lumineers, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg continued to grow in line with the rise of streaming. The business grew by 20% on the year.

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg (Yui Mok/PA)

However film earnings are expected to be lower, following a restructuring to focus on fewer but more profitable releases.

Entertainment One said there was strong momentum in television, thanks to new shows such as The Rookie and old ones like Grey’s Anatomy, which is now the longest running US medical drama.

Chief executive Darren Throop said: “As we continue to focus on unlocking the power and value of creativity, Entertainment One has delivered a solid performance for the year, driven by strong momentum in television, continued growth in family & brands and with the restructuring of film having a beneficial impact on the slate and margins.

“As such, the financial performance of the business is in line with management expectations for the year.”

Upcoming projects in the 2020 financial year include Run, a romantic comedy thriller by Vicky Jones and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and a collaboration with Stranger Things makers 21 Laps Entertainment on science fiction film Sovereign.

Shares in the company were up 3% in morning trading on Thursday.

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