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4Kids Reports Narrower 1st Quarter Losses

posted on by Egan Loo
Lower Yu-Gi-Oh!, Shaman King licensing revenues; new YGO TV, toy plans

4Kids Entertainment, the television licensing and broadcasting company whose current anime properties include Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dinosaur King, and Sonic X, has announced on Monday that it posted net losses of US$2.0 million in the first three months of 2009, compared to US$6.4 million in the same period the previous year. It reported lowered domestic licensing revenues from its Yu-Gi-Oh! and Shaman King properties at US$0.9 million and US$0.4 million, respectively. Increased international broadcast sales from the Dinosaur King television series brought in US$0.8 million. While the end of its Saturday morning programming block on the Fox television network decreased its expenses, it also decreased its revenues.

The Cartoon Network will televise Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds every weekday in the United States, and the Yu-Gi-Oh! toy line will relaunch with new licensee Playmates. Konami has just ended its Yu-Gi-Oh! distribution agreement with Upper Deck and will distribute the trading card game itself. 4Kids hopes that these development will improve the franchise's outlook in 2009.

Alfred R. Kahn, 4Kids' chairman and chief executive officer, noted both the typical decline in retail sales after the year-end holidays and the ongoing global recession. He also emphasized that his company is continuing to cut costs after laying off 15% of its work force in December. Much of the company's conference call on the financial results was devoted to Chaotic, the licensing franchise based on a Dutch trading card game.

Source: Seeking Alpha

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