UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
☒ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019
Commission file number 1-6682
(Exact Name of Registrant As Specified in its Charter)
(State of Incorporation)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1027 Newport Avenue
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (401) 431-8697
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ or No ☐.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ or No ☒.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ or No ☐.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ or No ☐.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ or No ☒.
The aggregate market value on June 30, 2019 (the last business day of the Company’s most recently completed second quarter) of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing price of the stock on that date, was approximately $12,056,921,330. The registrant does not have non-voting common stock outstanding.
The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 11, 2020 was 136,876,923.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of our definitive proxy statement for our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
From time to time, including in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) and in our annual report to shareholders, we publish “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These “forward-looking statements” may relate to matters such as our business and marketing strategies, anticipated financial performance or business prospects in future periods, expected technological and product developments, relationships with customers and suppliers, purchasing patterns of our customers and consumers, the expected content of and timing for scheduled new product introductions or our expectations concerning the future acceptance of products by customers, expected benefits and plans relating to acquired brands, properties and businesses, such as Entertainment One Ltd., the content and timing of planned entertainment releases including motion pictures, television and digital products, marketing and promotional efforts, research and development activities, geographic plans, adequacy of supply, manufacturing capacity and expectations to reduce manufacturing in China, tariffs, impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus and other public health conditions, adequacy of our properties, expected benefits and cost-reductions from certain restructuring actions, capital expenditures, working capital, liquidity, and other financial, tax, accounting and similar matters. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “looking forward,” “may,” “planned,” “potential,” “should,” “will” and “would” or any variations of words with similar meanings. We note that a variety of factors could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed or anticipated in our forward-looking statements. The factors listed below and in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K are illustrative and other risks and uncertainties may arise as are or may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K. We undertake no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K or in our annual report to shareholders to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of the filing of this report.
Except as expressly indicated or unless the context otherwise requires, as used herein, “Hasbro”, the “Company”, “we”, or “us”, means Hasbro, Inc., a Rhode Island corporation organized on January 8, 1926, and its subsidiaries.
Completion of Acquisition
On December 30, 2019, we completed the acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd. ("eOne") for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $4.6 billion, comprised of $3.8 billion of cash consideration for shares outstanding and $0.8 billion related to the redemption of eOne’s outstanding senior secured notes and the payoff of eOne’s revolving credit facility. We financed the acquisition through a combination of debt and equity financings, including (i) the issuance of senior unsecured notes in an aggregate principal amount of $2.4 billion, (ii) the issuance of 10,592,106 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $95.00 per share and (iii) $1.0 billion in term loans. The financial results of eOne are not included in the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K, as the acquisition of eOne was completed in fiscal 2020.
General Development and Description of Business and Business Segments
We are a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play and Entertainment Experiences. From toys, games and consumer products to television, movies, digital gaming, live action, music, and virtual reality experiences, Hasbro connects to global audiences by bringing to life great innovations, stories and brands across established and inventive platforms. Hasbro’s iconic brands include MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, POWER RANGERS and FURREAL FRIENDS, as well as our premier partner brands. Through our acquisition of eOne, we’ve enhanced our brand portfolios with the addition of beloved children’s brands, including PEPPA PIG and PJ MASKS. Through our global entertainment studios, we are building our brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for children and their families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.
Our strategic plan is centered around our brand blueprint. Under our brand blueprint strategy, we re-imagine, re-invent and re-ignite our owned and controlled brands and imagine, invent and ignite new brands, through product innovation, immersive entertainment offerings, including television and motion pictures, digital gaming and a broad range of consumer products. As the global consumer landscape, shopping behaviors and the retail environment continue to evolve, we continue to transform and reimagine our business strategy. This transformation includes reexamining the ways Hasbro organizes across its brand blueprint and re-shaping the Company to become a better equipped and adaptive, digitally-driven organization, including the development of an omni-channel retail presence and adding new capabilities through the on-boarding of new skill sets and talent. More recently, to enhance our long-term competitive position we have identified and pursued key growth opportunities through strategic acquisitions, to excel in today’s converged retail environment as a leading global play and entertainment company across all platforms.
Recent Acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd.
Overview of eOne's Business
eOne is a global independent studio that specializes in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. eOne’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, eOne delivers premium content to the world.
eOne develops, produces and distributes a portfolio of children’s properties on a worldwide basis. The principal brand is PEPPA PIG, which was launched in the United Kingdom (“UK”) in May 2004. This brand entertains pre-school children worldwide with much of its historical revenue generated through licensing and merchandising programs across multiple retail categories. eOne’s portfolio of pre-school brands also includes PJ MASKS, CUPCAKE & DINO: GENERAL SERVICES, and RICKY ZOOM.
eOne’s global independent film business focuses on the acquisition and development of film production rights and the exploitation of these rights on a multi‑territory basis across all media channels, including cinema, physical home entertainment, and broadcast and digital, as well as the production of a growing number of films. eOne also produces and co‑produces a growing number of feature films.
In addition to eOne’s film business, eOne is a major independent producer of television content in North America focusing on the development, production and acquisition of high-quality television programming for sale to broadcasters and digital platforms globally. eOne develops and produces original television programming for broadcast in its core television production territories of Canada and the U.S., which is then distributed into global markets by eOne’s own international sales network. eOne typically finances its television programming on a production‑by‑production basis by way of production financing facilities. eOne’s original television programming is sold to broadcasters on a series‑by‑series or individual show basis for broadcast on free television, pay television, Subscription Video‑On‑Demand and other digital platforms. Its programming spans a variety of genres, including scripted drama, non‑scripted reality and documentaries, and in multiple formats, including series, television films, mini‑series and specials.
eOne has its own music label, which produces and releases music tracks and albums from artists across a wide variety of genres, and a significant catalog of music. The music business provides a source of music content for film and television productions and allows eOne to monetize some of the music produced from its films and television programs. eOne also has a global music business specializing in management, publishing and live events across a wide variety of genres. Music also includes UK-based Audio Network, an independent creator and publisher of original high quality music for use in film, television, advertising and digital media.
Strategic Rational of the Acquisition
We believe the addition of eOne accelerates our brand blueprint strategy by:
expanding our brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, including PEPPA PIG, PJ MASKS and RICKY ZOOM;
adding proven TV and film expertise and executive leadership;
enhancing brand building capabilities, our storytelling capabilities and franchise economics in TV, film and other mediums to strengthen Hasbro brands; and
creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth through in-sourcing and cost-synergies, as well as future revenue growth opportunities.
Storytelling and Other Entertainment Initiatives
Our brand blueprint focuses on reinforcing storylines associated with our brands through several mediums, including television, film, digital gaming and live action experiences.
As part of our brand blueprint strategy, we seek to build our brands through entertainment-based storytelling. Historically, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation have been responsible for Hasbro's entertainment-driven brand storytelling, including the development and global distribution of television programming and motion pictures primarily based on our brands. As we integrate eOne's creative talent and network of studios we expect eOne to lead the Company's entertainment-driven brand storytelling with the addition of production studios that span film, television and music, and include family programming, digital content distribution, international feature film distribution and live entertainment.
Television programming based on our brands currently airs in markets throughout the world. Domestically, Allspark Animation primarily distributes programming to Discovery Family Channel (the “Network”), a joint venture between Discovery Communications, Inc. (“Discovery”) and Hasbro which operates a cable television network in the United States dedicated to high-quality children’s and family entertainment and educational programming. Beginning in 2015, Allspark Animation began distributing certain programming domestically to other outlets, including Cartoon Network. Internationally, Allspark Animation distributes to various broadcasters and cable networks. Allspark Animation also distributes programming globally on various digital platforms, including Netflix. In 2016, Hasbro acquired Boulder Media, an animation studio based in Dublin, Ireland that produces a variety of projects for Allspark Animation and Allspark Pictures.
During 2014, we introduced Allspark Pictures, Hasbro’s film label, as a vehicle to produce both animated and live action theatrical releases based on our brands. Beginning in 2020, we plan to leverage eOne's production expertise to enhance the Company's film, television and animated production initiatives.
In October 2017 the Company entered into an agreement with Paramount Pictures (“Paramount”) to produce and distribute live action and animated films, as well as television programming based on Hasbro brands over a five-year period. Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures, Allspark Animation and eOne will play an active role alongside Paramount in content development and production under this relationship and Hasbro will play a more significant role in financing the films. The Company’s storytelling initiatives, which we believe will be enhanced through the expertise and creative talent of eOne, support its strategy of growing its brands well beyond traditional toys and games and providing entertainment experiences for consumers of all ages accessible anytime in many forms and formats.
Recent films released by Allspark Pictures include the following:
In October 2017, Allspark Pictures released MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE.
In December 2018, Hasbro and Paramount released BUMBLEBEE, a film centered on the TRANSFORMERS character.
Jointly, Allspark Pictures and Paramount Pictures have several upcoming feature length films with planned release dates in 2020 and 2021.
In addition to film and television initiatives, Hasbro understands the importance of digital content to drive fan engagement, including in gaming and across other media, and of integrating such content with our products. Digital media encompasses digital gaming applications and the creation of digital environments for analog products through the use of complementary digital applications and websites which extend storylines and enhance play. In 2018, the Company launched MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA, the free-to-play online adaptation of the MAGIC: THE GATHERING card game, which launched out of open beta late in the third quarter of 2019. During the fourth quarter of 2019, to support the Company's Wizards of the Coast's digital gaming business, the Company acquired Tuque Games ("Tuque"), an independent digital game development studio based in Montreal, Canada. Tuque will focus on the development of digital games for brands such as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.
In October 2019, the Company made the decision to close our wholly owned subsidiary, Backflip Studios, LLC (“Backflip”), a mobile game developer and producer of digital applications. The Company plans to continue to support Backflip’s existing mobile gaming apps in the near-term.
As we begin to leverage the immersive entertainment capabilities gained through the eOne acquisition, we will aim to strengthen our competencies around the brand blueprint, such as in storytelling and digital, complement our current product offerings, enter into areas which are adjacent or complementary to our existing business, add to our brand portfolio, and further develop awareness of our brands and expand the ability of consumers to experience our brands in different forms and formats.
Hasbro organizes and markets owned, controlled and licensed intellectual properties within our brand architecture under the following four brand portfolios: (1) Franchise Brands; (2) Partner Brands; (3) Hasbro Gaming; and (4) Emerging Brands.
Franchise Brands Franchise Brands are Hasbro’s most significant owned or controlled properties which we believe have the ability to deliver significant revenues and growth over the long-term. Our seven Franchise Brands are BABY ALIVE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS. In 2019, 2018 and 2017, Franchise Brands were 51%, 53% and 52% of total net revenues, respectively.
Partner Brands Partner Brands include those brands licensed by Hasbro from other parties for which Hasbro develops toy and game products. Significant Partner Brands include MARVEL, including SPIDER-MAN and THE AVENGERS, STAR WARS, DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN, DISNEY‘S DESCENDANTS, BEYBLADE, DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS and SESAME STREET. Partner Brands MARVEL, STAR WARS, DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS, DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN are all owned by The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”). Partner brand revenues fluctuate based primarily on the entertainment releases around these brands in any given year.
In 2019, Hasbro product lines were supported by the following theatrical releases: CAPTAIN MARVEL in March, AVENGERS: END GAME in April, SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME in July, FROZEN 2 in November and STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER in December. The release of FROZEN 2 in November supported the Company’s DISNEY FROZEN product line in 2019 which is expected to continue into 2020.
In 2018, Hasbro product lines were supported by the following theatrical releases: BLACK PANTHER in February, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR in April and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE in December. In addition, Hasbro’s products were supported by the May release of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.
Hasbro Gaming Hasbro continues to transform game play through our strong portfolio of Gaming Brands, digital integration, the mining of social media trends to garner consumer insights and capitalize on popular gaming themes, and the rapid introduction of innovative new gaming brands and play experiences. Hasbro Gaming includes brands such as CONNECT 4, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, JENGA, THE GAME OF LIFE, OPERATION, SCRABBLE, TRIVIAL PURSUIT and TWISTER. In addition, Hasbro’s games portfolio also includes new social games brands as well as many other well-known game brands. To successfully execute our gaming strategy, we consider brands which may capitalize on existing trends while evolving our approach to gaming using consumer insights and offering gaming experiences relevant to consumer demand for face to face, trading card and digital game experiences played as board, off-the-board, digital, card, electronic, trading card and role-playing games.
Emerging Brands Emerging Brands are those owned or controlled Hasbro brands which have not achieved Franchise Brand status, but many of which the Company believes have the potential to do so over time with investment and further development. Hasbro Emerging Brands include brands such as LITTLEST PET SHOP, EASY BAKE, FURREAL FRIENDS, PLAYSKOOL, SUPERSOAKER and most recently, the POWER RANGERS brand, which we purchased in 2018. The POWER RANGERS brand is currently supported by new television programming which began in 2019. The Emerging Brands portfolio also includes the LOST KITTIES brand as well as new brands currently being developed by the Company and other brands not captured in our other three categories. During 2020, Hasbro plans to sell products related to SNAKE EYES, the action adventure feature-length film based on the Emerging Brands GI JOE character SNAKE EYES. The film is being produced jointly by Allspark and Paramount Pictures and is expected to be released in October 2020.
In 2020, as a result of the eOne acquisition, Hasbro enhances its current brand portfolio offerings with the introduction of several brands that already have global appeal. Commencing in fiscal 2020, eOne brands, including PEPPA PIG, PJ MASKS and RICKY ZOOM, will be reported in the Emerging Brands portfolio. The Film & TV revenues will be reported in a new brand portfolio, eOne Entertainment.
Going forward, Hasbro expects to benefit from the addition of an attractive set of new brands currently under development.
For periods presented in this Form 10-K, our three principal segments are U.S. and Canada, International and Entertainment, Licensing and Digital. The U.S. and Canada and International segments engage in the marketing and selling of various toy and game products described above. Our toy and game products are primarily developed by cross-functional teams, including members of our global development and marketing groups, to establish a cohesive brand direction and assist the segments in establishing certain local marketing programs. The costs of these groups are allocated to our principal segments. Our U.S. and Canada segment covers the United States and Canada while the International segment primarily includes Europe, the Asia Pacific region and Latin and South America. The Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment conducts our movie, television and digital gaming entertainment operations, including the movie and television operations of Allspark Pictures, Allspark Animation and Boulder Studios and the digital gaming operations of our Wizards of the Coast business. In addition, the segment engages in the out-licensing of our trademarks, characters and other brand and intellectual property rights to third parties for digital gaming and consumer products. Our Global Operations segment is responsible for arranging product manufacturing and sourcing for the U.S. and Canada and International segments.
Commencing in fiscal 2020, following the completion of our acquisition of eOne, we expect to add a new reportable segment, which encompasses the operations of eOne.
U.S. and Canada Our U.S. and Canada segment engages in the marketing and sale of our products in the United States and Canada. The U.S. and Canada segment promotes our brands through constant innovation and reinvention. This is accomplished through introducing new products and initiatives driven by consumer and marketplace insights and leveraging opportunistic toy and game lines and licenses. This strategy leverages efforts to increase consumer awareness of the Company’s brands through entertainment experiences, including motion pictures and television programming.
International The International segment engages in the marketing and sale of our product categories to retailers and wholesalers in most countries in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Asia Pacific region and through distributors in those countries where we have no direct presence. As of December 29, 2019, we had offices in more than 35 countries contributing to sales in more than 120 countries.
In addition to growing brands, leveraging opportunistic product lines and driving our licensed business, we seek to grow our international business by continuing to strategically expand into emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin and South America. In 2019 we opened an office in Vietnam and in 2018, we opened an office in Japan. Emerging markets are an area of high priority for us as we believe they offer greater opportunities for revenue growth than developed markets. Key emerging markets include Russia, Brazil and the People’s Republic of China (“China”). Net revenues from emerging markets represented 13% of our total consolidated net revenues in 2019 while in 2018 and 2017, net revenues from emerging markets represented 14% of our total consolidated net revenues. In 2019, net revenues from emerging markets decreased 5% while in 2018, net revenues in emerging markets decreased 12% from 2017.
In 2019 and 2018, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against many of the foreign currencies within the Company’s International segment had a negative impact on segment net revenues. The impact from foreign currency translation on International segment net revenues as compared to the prior year translation rates for 2019 and 2018 was ($76.5) million and ($41.7) million, respectively. Financial information with respect to foreign currency risk management is included in note 17 to our consolidated financial statements, which are included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital Our Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment includes our consumer products licensing, digital gaming, television and movie entertainment operations.
Our consumer products licensing category seeks to promote our brands through the out-licensing of our intellectual properties to third parties for promotional and merchandising uses in businesses which do not compete directly with our own product offerings, such as apparel, publishing, home goods and electronics, or in certain situations, to utilize them for toy products where we consider the out-licensing of brands to be more effective and profitable than developing and marketing the products ourselves.
Our digital gaming business seeks to promote our brands through the development of digital games based on Hasbro brands. In 2018, the Company launched the MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA online game and is also developing esports initiatives as well as a digital game around the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS brand.
Furthermore, in addition to digital game development, Hasbro also promotes brands through the out-licensing of our intellectual properties to partners who develop and offer digital games for play on mobile devices, personal computers, and video game consoles based on those brands. The Company has digital gaming relationships with
Electronic Arts Inc., Activision, Ubisoft, Scopely and others. We also license our brands to third parties engaged in other forms of gaming, including Scientific Games Corporation.
Although Hasbro closed Backflip, a mobile game development studio, during 2019, Hasbro remains committed to digital gaming as part of our long-term strategy and we continue to pursue opportunities to invest where we see growth potential. One such investment, as mentioned above, was the purchase of Tuque during the fourth quarter of 2019. Tuque is a digital game development studio based in Montreal, Canada that is developing digital games for Wizards of the Coast brands.
Major motion pictures and television programming based on our owned and controlled brands provide both immersive storytelling and the ability for our consumers to experience these properties in a different format, which we believe can result in increased product sales, royalty revenues, and overall brand awareness. To a lesser extent, we can also earn revenue from our participation in the financial results of motion pictures and related home entertainment releases and through the distribution of television programming. Revenue from toy and game product sales is a component of the U.S. and Canada and International segments, while royalty revenues, including revenues earned from movies and television programming, is included in the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment.
As we integrate eOne into our business, we expect to have further potential for revenue growth and expanded franchise economics with brand-driven animation and live action television and film entertainment driven by eOne.
Global Operations Our Global Operations segment sources production of our toy and game products. Through August 2015, the Company owned and operated manufacturing facilities in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Waterford, Ireland, which predominantly produced game products. These facilities were sold to Cartamundi NV (“Cartamundi”). Cartamundi continues to manufacture significant quantities of game products for us in their two facilities under a multi-year manufacturing agreement. Sourcing for our other production is done through unrelated third party manufacturers in various Far East countries, principally China, using a Hong Kong based wholly-owned subsidiary operation for quality control and order coordination purposes. Over time we are increasing the amount of product we source outside China, including in India and Vietnam. See “Manufacturing and Importing” below for more details concerning overseas manufacturing and sourcing.
Other Information To further extend our range of products in the various segments of our business, we sell a portion of our toy and game products to retailers on a direct import basis from the Far East. These sales are reflected in the revenue of the related segment where the customer is geographically located.
Certain of our products are licensed to other companies for sale in selected countries where we do not otherwise have a direct business presence.
Three of our four product categories, namely Franchise Brands, Partner Brands and Hasbro Gaming, generate approximately 10% or more of our net revenues. For more information, including the amount of net revenues attributable to each of our four product categories, see note 21 to our consolidated financial statements, which is included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
Working Capital Requirements
Our working capital needs are financed through cash generated from operations, primarily through the sale of toys and games and secondarily through our consumer products licensing and entertainment operations, and, when necessary, proceeds from short-term borrowings.
Our customer order patterns may vary from year to year largely due to fluctuations in the degree of consumer acceptance of product lines, product availability, marketing strategies and inventory policies of retailers, the dates of theatrical releases of major motion pictures for which we offer products, and changes in overall economic conditions. As such, a disproportionate volume of our net revenues is earned during the third and fourth quarters leading up to the retail industry’s holiday selling season, including Christmas. As a result, comparisons of unshipped orders on any date with those at the same date in the prior year are not necessarily indicative of our sales for that year. Moreover, quick response, or just-in-time, inventory management practices result in a significant proportion of orders being placed for immediate delivery. Although the Company may receive orders from customers in advance, it is general industry practice that these orders are subject to amendment or cancellation by customers prior to shipment and, as such, the Company does not believe that these unshipped orders, at any given date, are necessarily indicative of future sales. We expect that retailers will continue to follow this strategy. As such, our business generally earns more revenue in the second half of the year compared to the first half. In 2019 and 2018, the second half of the year accounted for approximately 64% of full year revenues with the third and fourth quarters
in 2019 accounting for 33% and 31%, respectively, of full year net revenues and the third and fourth quarters in 2018 accounting for 34% and 30%, respectively, of full year net revenues.
Historically, we commit to the majority of our inventory production and advertising and marketing expenditures for a given year, prior to the peak fourth quarter retail selling season. Our accounts receivable increase during the third and fourth quarters as customers increase their purchases to meet expected consumer demand in the holiday season. Due to the concentrated timeframe of this selling period, payments for these accounts receivable are generally not due until later in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of the subsequent year. The timing difference between expenses paid and revenues collected sometimes makes it necessary for us to borrow varying amounts during the year. During 2019, we primarily utilized cash from our operations, and, to a lesser extent, uncommitted lines of credit in certain international markets to meet our cash flow requirements. In addition to the uncommitted international lines of credit used in 2019, we also have available a $1.5 billion committed revolving credit agreement as well as a $1.0 billion commercial paper program (supported by the Revolving Credit Agreement) available to fund our working capital requirements.
As we integrate eOne into our business, our working capital requirements may change. Further, we expect that our entertainment business will be subject to seasonal variations based on the timing of film cinema releases, physical home entertainment, and television and digital content releases, which could impact our working capital needs.
Product Development and Royalties
Our success is dependent on continuous innovation in our play and entertainment offerings and requires continued development of new brands and products alongside the redesign of existing products to drive consumer interest and market acceptance. Our toy and game products are developed by a global development function, the costs of which are allocated to the selling entities which comprise our principal operating segments. These costs include activities related to the development, design and engineering of new products and their packaging (including products brought to us by independent designers) and on the improvement or modification of ongoing products. Much of this work is performed by our internal staff of designers, artists, model makers and engineers.
In addition to the design and development work performed by our own staff, we deal with a number of independent toy and game designers, for whose designs and ideas we compete with other toy and game manufacturers. Rights to such designs and ideas, when acquired or licensed by us, are usually exclusive and the agreements require us to pay the designer a royalty on our net sales of the item. These designer royalty agreements may also provide for advance royalties and minimum guarantees.
We also produce a number of toys and games under licenses based on our partners’ trademarks and copyrights for the names or likenesses of characters from movies, television shows and other entertainment media, for whose rights we compete with other toy and game manufacturers. Licensing fees for these rights are generally paid as a royalty on our net sales of the item. Licenses for the use of characters may be exclusive for specific products or product lines in specified territories, or may be non-exclusive, in which case our product offerings may be competing with the product offerings of other licensees. In many instances, advance royalties and minimum guarantees are required by these license agreements. Our royalty expense in any given year may also vary depending upon the timing of movie releases and other entertainment media.
Our entertainment offerings also require us to pay royalties and participations to those involved in the creation of the content. With the acquisition of eOne we expect these royalties and participations to become more significant.
Marketing and Sales
While our global development function focuses on brand and product innovation and re-invention, our global marketing function establishes brand direction and messaging and assists the selling entities in establishing local marketing programs. The global marketing group works cross-functionally with the global development function to deliver unified, brand-specific points of view. The costs of this group are allocated to the selling entities which comprise our principal operating segments. In addition to the global marketing function, our local selling entities employ sales and marketing functions responsible for local market activities and execution.
Our products are sold globally to a broad spectrum of customers, including wholesalers, distributors, chain stores, discount stores, drug stores, mail order houses, catalog stores, department stores and other traditional retailers, large and small, as well as internet-based “e-retailers.” Our own sales forces account for the majority of sales of our products with remaining sales generated by independent distributors who, for the most part, sell our products in areas of the world where we do not otherwise maintain a direct presence. Notwithstanding our thousands of customers, the majority of our sales are to large chain stores, distributors, e-retailers and wholesalers.
Customer concentration provides us with certain benefits, such as potentially more efficient product distribution practices and other reductions in costs of sales and distribution; however, customer concentration can also create additional risks for our business. These risks include potential damage to our business resulting from the financial difficulties of one or more of our major customers which could lead to reductions in sales, or other unfavorable changes in our business relationships with one, or more, of our major customers. Customer concentration may also decrease the prices we are able to obtain for some of our products and reduce the number of products we would otherwise be able to bring to market.
During 2019, net revenues from our top five customers accounted for approximately 38% of our consolidated global net revenues, including our largest customers, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corporation and Amazon.com, who represented 18%, 9% and 8%, respectively, of consolidated global net revenues. In the U.S. and Canada segment, approximately 59% of our net revenues were derived from our top three customers. The bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation of Toys“R”Us, had a significant negative impact on our sales and profitability in 2018. Prior to 2018, Toys“R”Us was Hasbro’s third largest U.S. customer and our second largest customer in Europe. In addition to lost sales, the Toys“R”Us liquidation in 2018 led to a significant amount of inventory sold at significant discount. We believe the bankruptcy of Toys“R”Us was partially a product of underlying changes in the industry including the rapid growth of on-line retail globally. In Europe, the bankruptcy of Toys“R”Us together with economic headwinds in a number of markets and the shifting retail environment magnified the negative impact to sales and profitability overall. These changes accelerated our efforts to diversify our retail mix in 2019 and we further prioritized a digital-first approach in order to become a more complete e-commerce partner. In 2020 and moving forward we plan to continue to focus on the ongoing evolution of our business to succeed in a digital-first, increasingly e-commerce driven world and to better position us for long-term success amidst the rapidly changing retail environment.
We advertise many of our toy and game products extensively on television and through digital marketing and advertising of our brands. Products are strategically cross-promoted by spotlighting specific products alongside related offerings in a manner that promotes the sale of not only the selected item, but also those complementary products. In addition to those advertising initiatives, Allspark Animation produces entertainment based primarily on our brands which appears on Discovery Family Channel and other major networks globally as well as on various other digital platforms, such as Netflix. In addition, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation produce both animated and live action theatrical releases based on our brands. As we integrate eOne, we expect that the creative talent at eOne will help activate and re-ignite our brands, including brands from our vault, by leading the creation of content based on our brands.
We introduce many of our new products to major customers within one to two years leading up to their year of retail introduction. We generally showcase certain new products in New York City at the time of the American International Toy Fair in February, as well as at other international toy shows, including in Hong Kong and Nuremburg, Germany. Our advertising expenditures are impacted by our product mix in any given year. Partner brands based on major motion picture releases generally require less advertising as a result of the promotional activities around the motion picture release. As such, advertising expenditures will be less as a percentage of sales in years where we have significant partner brand sales of products based on major motion picture releases.
In 2019, 2018 and 2017, we incurred $413.7 million, $439.9 million, and $501.8 million, respectively, in expense related to advertising and promotional programs.
Manufacturing and Importing
During 2019 the majority of our products were manufactured in third party facilities in the Far East, primarily China, as well as in two previously owned facilities located in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Waterford, Ireland. These facilities were owned by the Company through August 2015, at which point they were sold to Cartamundi, who continues to manufacture significant quantities of game products for us under a multi-year manufacturing agreement. We are continuing our efforts to diversify our global sourcing mix and decrease our dependence on Chinese manufacturing by increasing production of our products in other countries, including India and Vietnam. eOne products are currently managed and distributed through third party licensing agents. Over time, we plan to look for opportunities to in-source production, distribution and licensing of products relating to eOne's brands.
We believe that the manufacturing capacity of our third-party manufacturers, as well as the supply of components, accessories and completed products which we purchase from unaffiliated manufacturers, are adequate to meet the anticipated demand in 2020 for our products. However, if we or our suppliers suffer prolonged manufacturing disruptions due to public health conditions, such as the coronavirus, manufacturing capacity of our third-party manufacturers as well as supply of components, accessories and our products may be adversely
impacted. (See Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors for further information.) Our reliance on designated external sources of manufacturing could be shifted, over a period of time, to alternative sources of supply for our products, should such changes be necessary or desirable. However, if we were to be prevented from obtaining products from a substantial number of our current Far East suppliers due to political, labor, public health concerns, such as the coronavirus, or other factors beyond our control, our operations and our ability to obtain products would be severely disrupted while alternative sources of product were secured and production shifted to those new sources. The imposition of trade sanctions, tariffs, border adjustment taxes or other measures by the United States or the European Union against a class of products imported by us from, or the loss of “normal trade relations” status with, China, or other countries where we manufacture significant numbers of products, or other factors which increase the cost of manufacturing in China, or other countries where we manufacture products, such as higher labor costs or an appreciation in the Chinese Yuan, could significantly disrupt our operations and/or significantly increase the cost of the products which are manufactured and imported into other markets and damage our sales and profitability.
Most of our products are manufactured from basic raw materials such as plastic, paper and cardboard, although certain products also make use of electronic components. All of these materials are readily available but may be subject to significant fluctuations in price. There are certain chemicals (including phthalates and BPA) that national, state and local governments have restricted or are seeking to restrict or limit the use of; however, we do not believe these restrictions have or will materially impact our business. We generally enter into agreements with suppliers at the beginning of a fiscal year that establish prices for that year. However, significant volatility in the prices of any of these materials may require renegotiation with our suppliers during the year.
The manufacturing processes of our vendors include injection molding, blow molding, spray painting, printing, box making and assembly.
We are a worldwide leader in the development, design, sale and marketing of toys and games and other family entertainment offerings, but our business is highly competitive. We compete with several large toy and game companies in our product categories, as well as many smaller United States and international toy and game designers, manufacturers and marketers. We also compete with other companies that offer branded entertainment specific to children and their families. Given the ease of entry into our business we view our primary competition as coming from content providers who are creating entertainment experiences that compete with our brand-driven storytelling and product experiences for consumer attention and spending. Businesses that create compelling content can readily translate that content into a full range of product offerings. Competition is based primarily on meeting consumer entertainment preferences and on the quality and play value of our products and experiences. To a lesser extent, competition is also based on product pricing.
Our entertainment business competes with other companies that produce and distribute films, television programs and other entertainment content. For example, the Discovery Family Channel, our cable television joint venture with Discovery Communications, Inc. in the U.S., competes with a number of other children’s television networks for viewers, advertising revenue and distribution fees. Our programming distributed both domestically and internationally, and Allspark Animation’s and Allspark Pictures’ releases, compete with content from many other parties. eOne, as an independent distributor and producer, competes with major U.S. and international studios that release a large number of films annually and command a significant share of box office revenues and television airtime, as well as other independent film and television production or distribution companies. Many of the major U.S. studios are part of large, diversified corporate groups with a variety of other operations, including television networks and cable channels that can provide both in‑house distribution capability and varied sources of earnings that may allow them to better offset fluctuations in the financial performance of their film and television operations. Some of these competitors have substantially greater marketing and financial resources than we do and may be able to compete aggressively on pricing in order to increase box office revenues and television airtime. In addition, the resources of the major studios may give them an advantage in acquiring other businesses or assets, including film libraries, that we might also be interested in acquiring. The competition we face may cause us to lose market share, achieve lower prices for our productions or pay more for third‑party content, any of which could harm our business.
In addition to contending with competition from other toy and game and entertainment and storytelling companies, we contend with the phenomenon that children are increasingly sophisticated and have been moving away from traditional toys and games at a younger age. The variety of product and entertainment offerings available for children has expanded and product life cycles have shortened as children move on to more sophisticated offerings at earlier ages. We refer to this trend as “children getting older younger”. As a result, our products not only compete with those offerings produced by other toy and game manufacturers and companies offering branded family play and entertainment, we also compete, particularly in meeting the demands of older
children, with entertainment offerings of many technology companies, such as makers of tablets, mobile devices, video games and other consumer electronic products and screens.
The changing trends in consumer preferences with respect to family entertainment and low barriers to entry as well as the emergence of new technologies continually creates new opportunities for existing competitors and start-ups to develop products that compete with our entertainment and toy and game offerings.
At December 29, 2019, we employed approximately 5,600 persons worldwide, approximately 2,500 of whom were located in the United States.
Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents
We seek to protect our products, for the most part, and in as many countries as practical, through registered trademarks, copyrights and patents to the extent that such protection is available, cost effective, and meaningful. The loss of such rights concerning any particular product is unlikely to result in significant harm to our business, although the loss of such protection for a number of significant items might have such an effect.
Our toy and game products sold in the United States are subject to the provisions of The Consumer Product Safety Act, as amended by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, (as amended, the “CPSA”), The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (the “FHSA”), The Flammable Fabrics Act (the “FFA”), and the regulations promulgated thereunder. In addition, a few of our products, such as the food mixes for our EASY-BAKE ovens, are also subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.
The CPSA empowers the Consumer Product Safety Commission (the “CPSC”) to take action against hazards presented by consumer products, including the formulation and implementation of regulations and uniform safety standards. The CPSC has the authority to seek to declare a product “a banned hazardous substance” under the CPSA and to ban it from commerce. The CPSC can file an action to seize and condemn an “imminently hazardous consumer product” under the CPSA and may also order equitable remedies such as recall, replacement, repair or refund for the product. The FHSA provides for the repurchase by the manufacturer of articles that are banned.
Consumer product safety laws also exist in some states and cities within the United States and in many international markets including Canada, Australia and Europe. We utilize independent third party laboratories that employ testing and other procedures intended to maintain compliance with the CPSA, the FHSA, the FFA, other applicable domestic and international product standards, and our own standards. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there can be no assurance that our products are or will be hazard free. Any material product recall or other safety issue impacting our products could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition, depending on the product and scope of the recall, could damage our reputation and could negatively affect sales of our other products as well.
The Children’s Television Act of 1990 and the rules promulgated thereunder by the United States Federal Communications Commission, the rules and regulations of the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the laws of certain other countries, also place limitations on television commercials during children’s programming and on advertising in other forms to children, and on the collection of information from children, such as restrictions on collecting information from children under the age of thirteen subject to the provisions of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
In addition to laws restricting the collection of information from children, our business is subject to other regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation which became effective in the European Union in May 2018, which restricts the collection, use, and retention of personal information. Failure to comply with any of those restrictions can subject us to severe liabilities.
Further we maintain programs to comply with various United States federal, state, local and international requirements relating to the environment, health, safety and other matters.
Executive Officers of the Registrant
The following persons are the executive officers of the Company. Such executive officers are elected annually. The position(s) and office(s) listed below are the principal position(s) and office(s) held by such persons with the Company. The persons listed below generally also serve as officers and directors of certain of the Company’s various subsidiaries at the request and convenience of the Company.
Position and Office Held
Brian D. Goldner(1)
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
John A. Frascotti(2)
President and Chief Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer, Entertainment One
Deborah M. Thomas(4)
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President, Chief Global Operations Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary
(1) Prior thereto, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer from 2015 to 2017; prior thereto, President and Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2015.
(2) Prior thereto, President from 2017 to 2018; President Hasbro Brands from 2014 to 2017; Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 2013 to 2014; and Senior Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer from 2008 to 2013.
(3) Mr. Throop was appointed an executive officer of Hasbro in February 2020. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of eOne since 2003.
(4) Prior thereto, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2009 to 2013.
(5) Prior thereto, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Operations, from 2012 to 2017.
(6) Prior thereto, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Markets from 2018 to 2019; prior thereto, President, Hasbro North America from 2011 to 2018.
(7) Prior thereto, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary from 2018 to 2019 and Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel from 2010 to 2018.
Availability of Information
Our internet address is http://www.hasbro.com. We make our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, available free of charge on or through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using our investor relations website at www.hasbro.com, under “Corporate — Investors”, SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. We use these channels as well as social media to communicate with our shareholders and the public about our Company, our products and other matters. It is possible that the information we post on social media could be deemed to be material information. Therefore, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in our Company to review the information we post on the social media channels listed on our investor relations website. Hasbro has used, and intends to continue to use, our investor relations website, as a means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Further corporate governance information, including our articles of incorporation, bylaws, governance guidelines, committee charters, and code of business conduct and ethics, is also available on our investor relations website www.hasbro.com, under “Corporate — Investors — Corporate Governance.” The contents of our website are not intended to be incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.
In evaluating our business, the risks described below, as well as other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission should be considered carefully. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also adversely affect our business. The occurrence of any of these events or circumstances could individually or in the aggregate have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flow or results of operations. This report contains forward-looking statements; please refer to the cautionary statements made under the heading "Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" for more information on the qualifications and limitations on forward-looking statements.
Risks Related to Our Business
Our strategy involves focusing on franchise and key partner brands, and successfully developing, or in the case of partner brands, successfully working with our partners to develop, those brands across our brand blueprint in a wide array of innovative toys and games, consumer products, storytelling and digital experiences. If we are not successful in developing and expanding these critical brands our business will suffer.
We have made a strategic decision to focus on fewer, larger global brands with an emphasis on developing our franchise and key partner brands, which we view as having the largest global potential. As we concentrate our efforts on a more select group of brands, we believe we can gain additional leverage and enhance the consumer experience. But this focus also means that our future success depends disproportionately on our and our partners’ ability to successfully develop this select group of brands across our brand blueprint and to maintain and extend the reach and relevance of these brands to global consumers in a wide array of markets. This strategy has required us to acquire, build and develop competencies in new areas, including storytelling, digital content and consumer products. Acquiring, developing and growing these competencies has required significant effort, time and money, with no assurance of success.
Our franchise and partner brands account for the substantial majority of our revenues. If we are unable to successfully maintain and develop our franchise and key partner brands in the future, continue to drive their relevance to consumers and grow sales of products and storytelling experiences based on those brands, our revenues and profits will decline and our business performance will suffer. In addition to continuing to grow and develop our existing franchise brands, successfully executing our brand strategy requires us to successfully develop other brands, such as POWER RANGERS which was acquired in 2018, and PEPPA PIG, PJ MASKS and RICKY ZOOM, which were acquired as part of our acquisition of eOne as of December 30, 2019. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to do this successfully.
Consumer interests change rapidly, making it difficult to create storytelling experiences and to design and develop products and entertainment offerings which will be popular with children, families and audiences, or to maintain the popularity of successful products and brands.
The interests of children, families and audiences evolve extremely quickly and can change dramatically from year to year and by geography. To be successful, we must correctly anticipate the types of entertainment content, products and play patterns which will capture consumers’ interests and imagination, and quickly develop and introduce innovative products and engaging entertainment which can compete successfully for consumers’ limited time, attention and spending. This challenge is more difficult with the ever-increasing utilization of technology and digital media in entertainment offerings, and the increasing breadth of entertainment available to consumers. Evolving consumer tastes and shifting interests, coupled with an ever-changing and expanding pipeline of entertainment and consumer properties and products which compete for consumer interest and acceptance, create an environment in which some products and entertainment offerings can fail to achieve consumer acceptance, and other products and entertainment offerings can be popular during a certain period of time but then be rapidly replaced. As a result, entertainment products and properties often have short consumer life cycles.
Consumer acceptance of our or our partners’ entertainment offerings is also affected by outside factors, such as critical reviews, promotions, the quality and acceptance of films and television programs and content released into the marketplace at or near the same time, the availability of alternative forms of entertainment and leisure time activities, general economic conditions and public tastes generally, all of which could change rapidly and most of which are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that films and television programs we produce or distribute will obtain favorable reviews or ratings, that films we distribute or produce will perform well at the box office or in ancillary markets or that broadcasters will license the rights to broadcast any of our television programs in development or renew licenses to broadcast programs in our library.
If we devote time and resources to developing and marketing entertainment and products that consumers do not accept or do not find interesting enough to buy in sufficient quantities to be profitable to us, our revenues and profits may decline and our business performance may be damaged. Similarly, if our product offerings and entertainment fail to correctly anticipate consumer interests, our revenues and earnings will be reduced.
The challenge of continuously developing and offering products and storytelling experiences that are sought after by children is compounded by the sophistication of today’s children and the increasing array of technology and entertainment offerings available to them.
Children are increasingly utilizing electronic offerings such as tablet devices and mobile phones and they are expanding their interests to a wider array of innovative, technology-driven entertainment products and digital and social media offerings at younger and younger ages. Our products compete with the offerings of consumer electronics companies, digital media and social media companies. To meet this challenge we, and our competitors, are investing in, designing and marketing products which incorporate more technology, seek to integrate digital and analog play, and aim to capitalize on new play patterns and increased consumption of digital and social media.
Costs associated with designing, developing and producing technologically advanced or sophisticated toy products tend to be higher than for many of our other more traditional products, such as board games and action figures. The ability to sell enough of these advanced products, at prices high enough to recoup our costs and make a profit, is constrained by heavy competition in consumer electronics and entertainment products and can be further constrained by difficult economic conditions. As a result, we can face increased risk of not achieving sales sufficient to recover our costs and we may lose money on the development and sale of these products. Additionally, designing, developing and producing technologically advanced or sophisticated products requires different competencies and follows different timelines than traditional toys and games. Delays in the design, development or production of these products incorporated into or associated with traditional toys and games could have a significant impact on our ability to successfully offer such products. In addition, the pace of change in product offerings and consumer tastes in the electronics and digital gaming areas is potentially even greater than for our other products. This pace of change means that the window in which a product can achieve and maintain consumer interest may be even shorter than traditional toys and games.
With the increasing array of technology and competitive entertainment offerings, we cannot guarantee that:
any of our brands, products or product lines will achieve popularity or continue to be popular;
any property for which we have a significant license will achieve or sustain popularity;
any new products or product lines we introduce will be considered interesting to consumers and achieve an adequate market acceptance; or
any product’s life cycle or sales quantities will be sufficient to permit us to profitably recover our development, manufacturing, marketing, royalties (including royalty advances and guarantees) and other costs of producing, marketing and selling the product.
Technological development, including changes in entertainment delivery formats, drives frequent changes within the film and television industry and our failure to respond to or capitalize on these changes could harm our business.
The entertainment industry experiences frequent change driven by technological development, including developments with respect to the formats through which films, television programming and recorded music are delivered to consumers. With rapid technological changes and dramatically expanded digital content offerings, the scale and scope of these changes have accelerated in recent years. For example, consumers are increasingly accessing television and film content on streaming and digital content networks, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which has caused significant disruption to the retail distribution of films, television programming and recorded music. We may also lose opportunities to capitalize on changing market dynamics, technological innovations or consumer tastes if we do not adapt our content offerings or distribution capabilities in a timely manner. The overall effect that technological development and new digital distribution platforms have on the revenue and profits we derive from our entertainment content, and the additional costs associated with changing markets, media platforms and technologies, is unpredictable. If we fail to accurately assess and effectively respond to changes in technology and consumer behavior in the entertainment industry, our business may be harmed.
Engaging storytelling across media is an increasingly important factor for driving brand awareness and successfully building brands.
Entertainment media, in forms such as television, films, digital content and other media, have become increasingly important platforms for consumers to experience our brands and our partners’ brands and the success,
or lack of success, of such media efforts can significantly impact the demand for our products and our financial performance. We spend considerable resources in designing and developing products in conjunction with planned media releases, both by our partners and our own media releases. Not only our efforts, but the efforts of third parties, such as licensors, film studios, content producers and distribution channels with whom we work, heavily impact the amount, content and timing of media development, release dates and the ultimate consumer interest in and success of these media efforts.
In 2019, for example, we developed and marketed significant product lines tied to the film releases by key partners of a number of properties, including DISNEY’S FROZEN II, MARVEL’S AVENGERS: ENDGAME, MARVEL’S CAPTAIN MARVEL, MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN and STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. Those films are developed and released by our partners and our partners control the content and schedule for such films. Other key partner product lines we offer, such as DISNEY PRINCESS, DISNEY'S DESCENDANTS and BEYBLADE, depend on television support by our partners for their successes.
Similarly, we are developing and marketing products for entertainment in which we play a more active role in developing or develop ourselves, such as TRANSFORMERS, POWER RANGERS and MY LITTLE PONY. In the future, we expect to have an even greater role in developing our own entertainment offerings for our brands, including those in our vault, through eOne’s expertise, experience and relationships in the entertainment industry, as we work together to unlock value in our brands. If films, television shows, or any other key entertainment content for which we develop and market products are not as successful as we and our partners anticipate, our revenues and earnings will fall.
The ultimate timing and success of such projects is critically dependent on the efforts and schedules of our licensors, studio, content, distribution and media partners. We do not fully control when or if any particular film projects will be greenlit, developed or released, and our licensors or media partners may change their plans with respect to projects and release dates or cancel development all together. This can make it difficult for us to get feature films developed, plan future entertainment slates and to successfully develop and market products in conjunction with future films and other media releases, given the lengthy lead times involved in product development and successful marketing efforts, and the fact that third party partners of ours may decide not to develop such entertainment.
When we say that products or brands will be supported by certain media releases, those statements are based on our current plans and expectations. Unforeseen factors may increase the cost of these releases, delay these media releases or even lead to their cancellation. Any delay or cancellation of planned product development work, introductions, or media support may decrease the number of products we sell and harm our business.
Outbreaks of communicable infections or diseases, or other public health pandemics, such as the global coronavirus outbreak currently being experienced, in the markets in which we and our employees, consumers, customers, suppliers and manufacturers operate, could substantially harm our business.
Disease outbreaks and other public health conditions, such as the global outbreak of the coronavirus currently being experienced, in markets in which we, our employees, consumers, customers, suppliers and manufacturers operate, could have a significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability and business. The occurrence of these types of events can result, and in the case of the coronavirus has resulted in, disruptions and damage to our business, caused by both the negative impact to our ability to design, develop, manufacture and ship product (the supply side impact) and the negative impact on consumer purchasing behavior (the demand side impact). The negative impact to supply can be driven by: manufacturing and other work stoppages, factory and other business closings, slowdowns or delays, including in China where a substantial portion of our manufacturing occurs; restrictions and limitations placed on workers and factories, including quarantines and other limitations on the ability to travel and return to work; and shortages or delays in production or shipment of products or raw materials. The negative impact to demand can be caused by delays in or reduced purchases from customers and consumers who may not be able to leave home or otherwise shop in a normal manner, and may have lower discretionary income due to reduced or limited work. While we have developed and continue to develop plans to help mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus to our business, the efforts will not completely prevent our business from being adversely affected, and the longer the outbreak impacts supply and demand the more negative the impact it will have on our business, revenues and earnings, and the more limited our ability will be to try and make up for delayed or lost product development, production and sales. The coronavirus outbreak continues to be fluid and uncertain, making it difficult to forecast the final impact it could have on our future operations. If our business experiences prolonged occurrence of adverse public health conditions, such as the coronavirus, we believe our business could be substantially harmed.
We depend on third party relationships with studios, content producers and distribution channels to develop and distribute entertainment content and those relationships are critical to our operations.
Under our relationship with Paramount, and now through our ownership of eOne, we are playing a more significant role in the production and financing of films based on our properties. This has the advantage of giving us more input as to what and when properties are developed into films, and can allow us to earn a greater return from successful films, but it also increases the money we directly spend on film production and puts that investment at risk. If our films are not as successful as we anticipate they will be, or if we are not able to produce and distribute films according to the schedule we have planned, due to creative or other difficulties or delays, our financial performance will be negatively impacted.
Additionally, eOne obtains distribution rights for films from third‑party content producers and produce television programs sold through a number of distribution channels. Our financial performance may be adversely affected by our relationships with these content producers and distribution channels. Some of these content producers are affiliates of major studios that have their own distribution capability in the markets in which we operate, and some of these distribution channels produce their own content or are affiliated with other content producers. These content producers and distribution channels may decide, or be required by their respective parent companies, to use their intra‑company distribution or content production capabilities rather than contracting with us for distribution or content production. Our business may be harmed if the content producers and distribution channels with which we work stop licensing content to us, or purchasing content from us, on favorable terms or at all and we are unable to establish new relationships to ensure the acquisition and sale of content in a timely and efficient manner.
The play and entertainment industry and consumer products industry are highly competitive and the barriers to entry are low. If we are unable to compete effectively with existing or new competitors or with our retailers’ private label toy products, our revenues, market share and profitability could decline.
The play and entertainment industry and the consumer products industry are, and will continue to be, highly competitive. We compete in the U.S. and internationally with a wide array of large and small manufacturers, marketers, and sellers of analog toys and games, digital gaming products, digital media, products which combine analog and digital play, and other entertainment and consumer products, as well as with retailers who offer such products under their own private labels. In addition, we compete with other companies who are focused on building their brands across multiple product and consumer categories. Across our business, we face competitors who are constantly monitoring and attempting to anticipate consumer tastes and trends, seeking ideas which will appeal to consumers, and introducing new products that compete with our products for consumer acceptance and purchase. In 2018, for example, our NERF branded products faced significantly increased competition from both newer entrants into the blaster space, as well as from private label offerings from major retailers. A number of these competitors sought to gain market share by offering products with less innovation than our products at price points below our products, particularly by offering blasters in the under $20 retail price range.
In addition to existing competitors, the barriers to entry for new participants in the children’s and family entertainment industry and in the consumer products industry are low, and the increasing importance of digital media and the heightened connection between digital media and consumer interest, has further increased the ability for new participants to enter our markets, and has broadened the array of companies we compete with. New participants with a popular product idea or entertainment property can gain access to consumers and become a significant source of competition for our products in a very short period of time. These existing and new competitors may be able to respond more rapidly than us to changes in consumer preferences. Our competitors’ products may achieve greater market acceptance than our products and potentially reduce demand for our products, lower our revenues and lower our profitability.
In recent years, retailers have also developed their own private-label products that directly compete with the products of traditional manufacturers and brand owners. Some retail chains that are our customers sell private-label children’s and family entertainment products designed, manufactured and branded by the retailers themselves. These products may be sold at prices lower than our prices for comparable products, which may result in lower purchases of our products by these retailers and may reduce our market share.
We face competition from major film studios and television production companies as well as other independent distributors and independent content producers.
Our entertainment business competes with other companies that produce and distribute films and television programs. For example, the Discovery Family Channel, our cable television joint venture with Discovery Communications, Inc. in the U.S., competes with a number of other children’s television networks for viewers,
advertising revenue and distribution fees. Our programming distributed both domestically and internationally, and Allspark Animation’s and Allspark Pictures’ releases, compete with content from many other parties. Entertainment One, as an independent distributor and producer, competes with major U.S. and international studios, that release a large number of films annually and command a significant share of box office revenues and television airtime, as well as other independent film and television production or distribution companies.
Many of the major U.S. studios are part of large, diversified corporate groups with a variety of other operations, including television networks and cable channels that can provide both in‑house distribution capability and varied sources of earnings that may allow them to better offset fluctuations in the financial performance of their film and television operations. Some of these competitors have substantially greater marketing and financial resources than we do and may be able to compete aggressively on pricing in order to increase box office revenues and television airtime. In addition, the resources of the major studios may give them an advantage in acquiring other businesses or assets, including film libraries, that we might also be interested in acquiring. The competition we face may cause us to lose market share, achieve lower prices for our productions or pay more for third‑party content, any of which could harm our business.
We cannot guarantee that our entertainment business will be successful. Lack of consumer interest in and acceptance of content developed by our entertainment business, and products related to that content, could significantly harm our business.
An inability to develop and introduce planned products, product lines and new brands in a timely and cost-effective manner may damage our business.
In developing products, product lines and new brands we have anticipated dates for the associated product and brand introductions. When we state that we will introduce, or anticipate introducing, a particular product, product line or brand at a certain time in the future those expectations are based on completing the associated development, implementation, and marketing work in accordance with our currently anticipated development schedule. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to manufacture, source and ship new or continuing products in a timely manner and on a cost-effective basis to meet constantly changing consumer demands. This risk is heightened by our customers’ compressed shipping schedules and the seasonality of our business. Further, ecommerce and omni-channel is growing significantly and accounting for a higher portion of the ultimate sales of our products to consumers. Ecommerce retailers tend to hold less inventory and take inventory closer to the time of sale to consumers than traditional retailers. The risk is also exacerbated by the increasing sophistication of many of the products we are designing, and brands we are developing in terms of combining digital and analog technologies, and providing greater innovation and product differentiation. Unforeseen delays or difficulties in the development process, significant increases in the planned cost of development, or changes in anticipated consumer demand for our products and new brands may cause the introduction date for products to be later than anticipated, may reduce or eliminate the profitability of such products or, in some situations, may cause a product or new brand introduction to be discontinued.
Our success depends on our ongoing ability to successfully evolve our capabilities and business to meet the challenges of a changing retail landscape and to successfully develop new and expanded aspects of our business.
Our success depends on our ability to continue evolving and transforming our business to address a changing global consumer landscape and retail environment, one in which online shopping accounts for an increasing percentage of total sales to consumers, digital first marketing is critical to garner and develop consumer interest, ecommerce focused companies like Amazon.com, Inc. are now among our largest customers, traditional brick and mortar retailers face challenges to their businesses from the disintermediation caused by the expanding prevalence of online shopping, and the presence of specialty toy retailers has been significantly reduced in many of our markets due to bankruptcies, such as that of Toys“R”Us, potentially reducing, at least in the shorter term, physical shelf space available to offer family entertainment properties. These market conditions require that we drive a digital-first orientation throughout our Company, adapt the way we produce and distribute our products to meet the needs of ecommerce retailers, and continue developing alternate retail channels to reach our consumers and recapture shelf space lost by specialty retailers.
In addition to successfully driving our business in a changing retail landscape, our future success depends on developing new and expanded areas of our business. Through our acquisition of eOne, we have made significant investments in our business that we believe can accelerate our brand blueprint strategy. We have added global preschool brands, new storytelling capabilities, veteran leadership and expertise in television and film, which we believe can build and strengthen our brands and improve our franchise economics. Another area we have invested considerable time and resources is our initiative to drive our DUNGEONS & DRAGONS brand through development
of digital gaming as well as our MAGIC: THE GATHERING brand through digital gaming and esports through our MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA online game and our MAGIC: THE GATHERING esports initiative. To grow our business through these and other initiatives we require different skills, investments and business strategies than more traditional areas of our business and our ability to successfully and profitably develop and deploy those skills and strategies, and drive those businesses, will be a major factor in achieving future success for our Company. Failure to execute on our initiatives could harm our business.
Our substantial business, sales and manufacturing operations outside the U.S. subject us to risks associated with international operations.
We operate facilities and sell products in numerous countries outside the U.S. We expect net revenues from our International segment to continue accounting for a significant portion of our revenues. In fact, over time, we expect our international sales and operations to continue to grow both in dollars and as a percentage of our overall business as a result of a key business strategy to expand our presence in emerging and underserved international markets, such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Additionally, we utilize third-party manufacturers primarily located in the Far East to produce most of our products. These international operations, including operations in emerging markets, have unique consumer preferences and business climates, present additional challenges and are subject to risks that may significantly harm our sales, increase our costs or otherwise damage our business, including:
Currency conversion risks and currency fluctuations;
The imposition of tariffs, quotas, border adjustment taxes or other protectionist measures;
Potential challenges to our transfer pricing determinations and other aspects of our cross border transactions, which can materially increase our taxes and other costs of doing business;
Political instability, civil unrest and economic instability;
Greater difficulty enforcing intellectual property rights and weaker laws protecting such rights;
Complications in complying with different laws in varying jurisdictions and in dealing with changes in governmental policies and the evolution of laws and regulations and related enforcement;
Difficulties understanding the retail climate, consumer trends, local customs and competitive conditions in foreign markets which may be quite different from the U.S.;
Natural disasters and the greater difficulty and cost in recovering therefrom;
Transportation delays and interruptions;
Difficulties in moving materials and products from one country to another, including port congestion, strikes and other transportation delays and interruptions;
Increased investment and operational complexity to make our products compatible with systems in various countries and compliant with local laws; and
Changes in international labor costs and other costs of doing business internationally.
Tariffs increase the costs of our products and can lower sales. The current tariff environment, particularly the imposition or threat of tariffs on products manufactured in China for import into the U.S., has negatively impacted our business and may continue to negatively impact our business, sales and profitability. The threat and imposition of tariffs have resulted in the elimination of some direct import orders, where customers take ownership of products near the source of supply and import the product themselves into the U.S., in favor of shifting to domestic orders, which requires us to ship the products to the U.S., and import and warehouse the products prior to delivery to the customer. This shift to domestic orders raises the cost to us, can result in delays in the time of a sale, and may result in the potential loss of some orders entirely due to the lack of timely supply or other delays. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully implement actions to lessen the impact of tariffs imposed on our products, including any changes to our supply chain, logistics capabilities, sales policies or pricing of our products.
Because of the importance of international sales, sourcing and manufacturing to our business, our financial condition and results of operations could be significantly harmed if any of the risks described above were to occur or if we are otherwise unsuccessful in managing our increasing global business and operating in an environment with more tariffs.
Changes in foreign currency exchange rates can significantly impact our reported financial performance.
Our global operations mean we produce and buy products, and sell products, in many different jurisdictions with many different currencies. As a result, if the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and a local currency for an international market in which we have significant sales or operations changes, our financial results as reported in U.S. dollars, may be meaningfully impacted even if our business in the local currency is not significantly affected. As an example, if the dollar appreciates 10% relative to a local currency for an international market in which we had $200 million of net revenues, the dollar value of those sales, as they are translated into U.S. dollars, would decrease by $20 million in our consolidated financial results. As such, we would recognize a $20 million decrease in our net revenues, even if the actual level of sales in the foreign market had not changed. Similarly, our expenses can be significantly impacted, in U.S. dollar terms, by exchange rates, meaning the profitability of our business in U.S. dollar terms can be negatively impacted by exchange rate movements which we do not control. Depreciation in key currencies may have a significant negative impact on our revenues and earnings as they are reported in U.S. dollars.
Global and regional economic downturns that negatively impact the retail and credit markets, or that otherwise damage the financial health of our retail customers and consumers, or other factors negatively impacting retail sales, can harm our business and financial performance.
We design, manufacture and market a wide variety of entertainment and consumer products worldwide through sales to our retail customers and directly to consumers. Our financial performance is impacted by the level of discretionary consumer spending in the markets in which we operate. Recessions, credit crises and other economic downturns, or disruptions in credit markets, in the U.S. and in other markets in which our products are marketed and sold can result in lower levels of economic activity, lower employment levels, less consumer disposable income, and lower consumer confidence. Similarly, reductions in the value of key assets held by consumers, such as their homes or stock market investments, can lower consumer confidence and consumer spending power. Any of these factors can reduce the amount which consumers spend on the purchase of our products. This in turn can reduce our revenues and harm our financial performance and profitability.
In addition to experiencing potentially lower revenues from our products during times of economic difficulty, in an effort to maintain sales during such times we may need to reduce the price of our products, increase our promotional spending and/or sales allowances, or take other steps to encourage retailer and consumer purchase of our products. Those steps may lower our net revenues or increase our costs, thereby decreasing our operating margins and lowering our profitability. These challenges can be exacerbated if our customers accumulate excess retail inventories over time due to their purchases of our products exceeding sales of those products to ultimate consumers. It can then take us significant time, working with our retailers, to reduce those excess retail inventories, and, in the interim, our sales of new products can be negatively impacted.
Other economic and public health conditions in the markets in which we and our employees, consumers, customers, suppliers and manufacturers operate, including rising commodity and fuel prices, higher labor costs, increased transportation costs, outbreaks of public health pandemics or other diseases or third party conduct could negatively impact our ability to produce and ship our products, and lower our revenues, margins and profitability.
Various economic and public health conditions, such as the coronavirus as described above, in the markets we, our employees, consumers, customers, suppliers and manufacturers operate, could have a significant negative impact on our revenues, profitability and business. The occurrence of these types of events can result, and in the case of the coronavirus has resulted in, manufacturing and other work stoppages, slowdowns and delays; shortages or delays in production or shipment of products or raw materials; delays or reduced purchases from customers and consumers; and other factors that cause increases in costs or delay in revenues. Prolonged occurrences of adverse health conditions could harm our business.
Significant increases in the costs of other products which are required by consumers, such as gasoline, home heating fuels, or groceries, may reduce household spending on the discretionary branded-play entertainment products we offer. Weakened economic conditions, lowered employment levels or recessions in any of our major markets may significantly reduce consumer purchases of our products. Economic conditions may also be negatively impacted by terrorist attacks, wars and other conflicts, natural disasters, increases in critical commodity prices or labor costs, or the prospect of such events. Such a weakened economic and business climate, as well as consumer uncertainty created by such a climate, could harm our revenues and profitability.
Our success and profitability not only depend on consumer demand for our products, but also on our ability to produce and sell those products at costs which allow for us to make a profit. Rising fuel and raw material prices, for
paperboard and other components such as resin used in plastics or electronic components, increased transportation costs, and increased labor costs in the markets in which our products are manufactured all may increase the costs we incur to produce and transport our products, which in turn may reduce our margins, reduce our profitability and harm our business.
Other conditions, such as the unavailability of sufficient quantities of electrical components, may impede our ability to manufacture, source and ship new and continuing products on a timely basis. Additional factors outside of our control could further delay our products or increase the cost we pay to produce such products. For example, work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes, an outbreak of a severe public health pandemic, such as the coronavirus, a natural disaster or the occurrence or threat of wars or other conflicts, all could impact our ability to manufacture or deliver product. Any of these factors could result in product delays, increased costs and/or lost sales for our products.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit, may have an adverse effect on our operations.
On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom ("UK") formally withdrew from the European Union ("EU"), entering a transitional period which is currently expected to end on December 31, 2020. During this transitional period, EU law will continue to apply in the UK while providing time for the UK and EU to negotiate the details of their future relationship. If at the end of the transitional period, the UK leaves the European Union with no agreement, it may result in increased costs of goods imported into and exported from the UK and may decrease the profitability of our UK and other operations. We continue to closely monitor the negotiations and the impact to foreign currency markets, however we cannot predict the direction of Brexit-related developments or the impact of those developments on our European and eOne operations and the economies of the markets in which they operate.
Our business depends, in large part, on the success of our key partner brands and on our ability to maintain, renew and extend solid relationships with our key partners.
As part of our strategy, in addition to developing and marketing products based on properties we own or control, we also seek to obtain licenses enabling us to develop and market products based on popular entertainment properties owned by third parties.
We currently have in-licenses to several successful entertainment properties, including MARVEL and STAR WARS, DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN, BEYBLADE and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS. Our agreements relating to MARVEL and STAR WARS were extended in February 2020. These licenses typically have multi-year terms and provide us with the right to market and sell designated classes of products. In recent years, our sales of products under the MARVEL, STAR WARS and BEYBLADE licenses have been highly significant to our business. If we fail to meet our contractual commitments and/or any of these licenses were to terminate and not be maintained, renewed or extended, or the popularity of any of these licensed properties was to significantly decline, our business would be damaged and we would need to successfully develop and market other products to replace the products previously offered under license.
Our license to the MARVEL property is granted from Marvel Entertainment, LLC and Marvel Characters B.V. (together “Marvel”). Our license to the STAR WARS property is granted by Lucas Licensing Ltd. and Lucasfilm Ltd. (together “Lucas”). Both Marvel and Lucas are owned by The Walt Disney Company.
We may not realize the full benefit of our licenses if the licensed material has less market appeal than expected or if revenue from the licensed products is not sufficient to earn out the minimum guaranteed royalties.
The success of entertainment properties for which we have a license, such as MARVEL, STAR WARS, SESAME STREET, DISNEY PRINCESS, DISNEY FROZEN, DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS, YOKAI-WATCH or BEYBLADE, and the ability of us to successfully market and sell related products, can significantly affect our revenues and profitability. If we produce a line of products based on a movie or television series, the success of the movie or series has a critical impact on the level of consumer interest in the associated products we are offering. In addition, competition in our industry for access to entertainment properties can lessen our ability to secure, maintain, and renew popular licenses to entertainment products on beneficial terms, if at all, and to attract and retain the talented employees necessary to design, develop and market successful products based on these properties.
The license agreements we enter to obtain these rights usually require us to pay minimum royalty guarantees that may be substantial, and in some cases may be greater than what we are ultimately able to recoup from actual sales, which could result in write-offs of significant amounts which, in turn, would harm our results of operations.
Acquiring or renewing licenses may require the payment of minimum guaranteed royalties that we consider to be too high to be profitable, which may result in losing licenses that we currently hold when they become available for renewal, or missing business opportunities for new licenses. Additionally, as a licensee of entertainment-based properties, we cannot guarantee that a particular property or brand will translate into successful toy, game or other family entertainment products, and underperformance of any such products may result in reduced revenues and operating profit for us.
We anticipate that the shorter theatrical duration for movie releases may make it increasingly difficult for us to profitably sell licensed products based on entertainment properties and may lead our customers to reduce their demand for these products in order to minimize their inventory risk. Furthermore, we cannot assure you that a successful brand will continue to be successful or maintain a high level of sales in the future, as new entertainment properties and competitive products are continually being introduced to the market. In the event that we are not able to acquire, maintain, renew or extend successful entertainment licenses on advantageous terms, our revenues and profits may be harmed.
We have long‑term output licensing agreements for the acquisition of content and these agreements may not be renewed on favorable terms or at all.
Through the acquisition of eOne in 2020, we have long‑term agreements to acquire and distribute content. These agreements require us to pay for films released by the relevant studio at rates typically calculated by reference to the film’s budget (subject to maximum amounts payable per film and a cap on the maximum number of films that can be delivered to us each year). In addition, we have entered into long term contracts for the acquisition of certain of our television programs.
As these contracts expire, we may choose to renew, renegotiate or terminate them; equally, these arrangements are terminable by the counterparty under certain circumstances (including unremedied material breach). If we are unable to renew or replace them on acceptable terms, we may not be able to replace this content with single film acquisitions. Even if these contracts are renewed or replaced, the terms on which we acquire content may be less favorable than the terms of our current agreements and the financial success or quantity of films and television programs we acquire through these long‑term contracts may decrease. There can also be no assurance that revenues based on these long‑term contracts will exceed the costs of acquiring the films or television programs.
Our business is seasonal and therefore our quarterly and annual operating results may fluctuate. This seasonality is exacerbated by retailers’ quick response or just in time inventory management techniques.
Sales of our toys, games and other family entertainment products at retail are extremely seasonal, with a majority of retail sales occurring during the period from September through December in anticipation of the holiday season. This seasonality has increased over time, as retailers become more and more efficient in their control of inventory levels through quick response or just in time inventory management techniques, including the use of automated inventory replenishment programs. Further, ecommerce is growing significantly and accounting for a higher portion of the ultimate sales of our products to consumers. Ecommerce retailers tend to hold less inventory and take inventory closer to the time of sale to consumers than traditional retailers. As a result, customers are timing their orders so that they are being filled by suppliers, such as us, closer to the time of purchase by consumers. For toys, games and other family entertainment products which we produce, a majority of retail sales for the entire year generally occurs in the fourth quarter, close to the holiday season. As a consequence, the majority of our sales to our customers occurs in the period from September through December, as our customers do not want to maintain large on-hand inventories throughout the year ahead of consumer demand. While these techniques reduce a retailer’s investment in inventory, they increase pressure on suppliers like us to fill orders promptly and thereby shift a significant portion of inventory risk and carrying costs to the supplier. This can also result in our losing significant revenues and earnings if our supply chain is unable to supply product to our customers when they want it. Tariffs can exacerbate this negative impact by causing retailers to shift from direct import to domestic orders, further pressuring our supply chain as we experienced in 2019.
The level of inventory carried by retailers may also reduce or delay retail sales resulting in lower revenues for us. If we or our customers determine that one of our products is more popular at retail than was originally anticipated, we may not have sufficient time to produce and ship enough additional products to fully meet consumer demand. Additionally, the logistics of supplying more product within shorter time periods increases the risk that we will fail to achieve tight and compressed shipping schedules, which also may reduce our sales and harm our financial performance. This seasonal pattern requires significant use of working capital, mainly to manufacture or acquire inventory during the portion of the year prior to the holiday season, and requires accurate forecasting of demand for products during the holiday season in order to avoid losing potential sales of popular products or producing excess inventory of products that are less popular with consumers. Our failure to accurately predict and
respond to consumer demand, resulting in under producing popular items and/or overproducing less popular items, would reduce our total sales and harm our results of operations.
Our entertainment business is also subject to seasonal variations based on the timing of film cinema releases, physical home entertainment, and television and digital content releases. Release dates are determined by several factors, including the timing of holiday periods, the U.S. release date of the film and competition in the market.
As a result of the seasonal nature of our business, we would be significantly and adversely affected, in a manner disproportionate to the impact on a company with sales spread more evenly throughout the year, by unforeseen events such as a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or economic shock that harms the retail environment or consumer buying patterns during our key selling season, or by events such as strikes or port delays that interfere with the shipment of goods, particularly from the Far East, during the critical months leading up to the holiday shopping season.
The concentration of our retail customer base means that economic difficulties or changes in the purchasing or promotional policies or patterns of our major customers could have a significant impact on us.
We depend upon a relatively small retail customer base to sell the majority of our products. For example, for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corporation and Amazon.com accounted for approximately 18%, 9% and 8%, respectively, of our consolidated net revenues and our five largest customers in the aggregate accounted for approximately 38% of our consolidated net revenues. In the U.S. and Canada segment, approximately 59% of the net revenues of the segment were derived from our top three customers. If one or more of our major customers were to experience difficulties in fulfilling their obligations to us, cease doing business with us, significantly reduce the amount of their purchases from us, favor competitors or new entrants, increase their direct competition with us by expanding their private-label business, change their purchasing patterns, alter the manner in which they promote our products or the resources they devote to promoting and selling our products, or return substantial amounts of our products, it could significantly harm our sales, profitability and financial condition.
As an example of this, the bankruptcy filing by Toys“R”Us in the U.S. and Canada in September 2017, and in the United Kingdom in early 2018, and the subsequent liquidations of the Toys“R”Us business in many markets globally during 2018, as well as the inability of Toys“R”Us to pay certain outstanding receivables, significantly reduced our sales and profitability in the fourth quarter of 2017 and throughout 2018. The liquidation of millions of units of retail inventory held by Toys“R”Us into the market at closeout prices had a more substantial negative impact to sales of new products by us in 2018 than we, and industry experts, had initially expected in early 2018.
Customers make no binding long-term commitments to us regarding purchase volumes and make all purchases by delivering purchase orders. Any customer could reduce its overall purchase of our products and reduce the number and variety of our products that it carries and the shelf space allotted for our products. In addition, increased concentration among our customers could also negatively impact our ability to negotiate higher sales prices for our products and could result in lower gross margins than would otherwise be obtained if there were less consolidation among our customers. Furthermore, the bankruptcy or other lack of success of one or more of our other significant retail customers could negatively impact our revenues and profitability.
Our use of third-party manufacturers to produce our products, as well as certain other products, presents risks to our business.
All of our products are manufactured by third-party manufacturers, the majority of which are located in China. Should changes be necessary, our external sources of manufacturing can be shifted, over a significant period of time, to alternative sources of supply. If we were prevented or delayed in obtaining products or components for a material portion of our product line due to political, civil, labor or other factors beyond our control, including natural disasters, adverse health conditions or pandemics, our operations may be substantially disrupted, potentially for a significant period of time. This delay could significantly reduce our revenues and profitability and harm our business while alternative sources of supply are secured.
Given that our toy manufacturing is conducted by third-party manufacturers, the majority of whom are located in China, health conditions, such as the coronavirus, and other factors affecting social and economic activity in China and affecting the movement of people and products into and from China to our major markets, including North America and Europe, as well as increases in the costs of labor and other costs of doing business in China, could have a significant negative impact on our operations, revenues and earnings.
Factors that could negatively affect our business include a potential significant revaluation of the Chinese Yuan, which may result in an increase in the cost of producing products in China, labor shortages and increases in labor costs in China as well as difficulties in moving products manufactured in China out of Asia and through the ports in North America and Europe, whether due to port congestion, labor disputes, slow-downs, product regulations and/or inspections or other factors. Prolonged disputes or slowdowns at west coast ports can negatively impact both the time and cost of transporting goods into the U.S. Natural disasters or health pandemics impacting China can also have a significant negative impact on our business.
Further, the imposition of tariffs, border adjustment taxes, trade sanctions or other regulations or economic penalties by the U.S. or the European Union against products imported by us from China or other foreign countries, or the loss of “normal trade relations” status with China or other foreign countries in which we operate, could significantly increase our cost of products imported into the U.S. or Europe, shift more orders to domestic sales, put additional shipping and warehousing burdens on us, delay the time of our sales to retailers, result in some lost sales, and otherwise harm our business. Additionally, the suspension of the operations of a third-party manufacturer by government inspectors in China or another market in which we source products could result in delays to us in obtaining product and may harm sales.
We have been working over the last several years to reduce our reliance on manufacturing in China, such as by moving production of certain products to facilities in other countries like India, Vietnam and Mexico, as well as by increasing production of our products in other markets, including in the U.S. We plan to continue those efforts in future years, but cannot guarantee we will be as successful in these efforts as we plan. Furthermore, many of these newer production facilities, such as in India and Vietnam, raise other risks in that we are working with vendors who have not been manufacturing products like ours for as long as historical vendors in China. That means these new vendors must successfully develop the capability to manufacture our products to the quality and safety standards we require and within the tight timeframe required by our customers.
We require our third-party manufacturers to comply with our Global Business Ethics Principles, which are designed to prevent products manufactured for us from being produced under inhumane or exploitive conditions. Our Global Business Ethics Principles address a number of issues, including working hours and compensation, health and safety, and abuse and discrimination. In addition, we require that our products supplied by third-party manufacturers be produced in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including consumer and product safety laws in the markets where those products are sold. Hasbro has the right and exercises such right, both directly and through the use of outside monitors, to monitor compliance by our third-party manufacturers with our Global Business Ethics Principles and other manufacturing requirements. In addition, we do quality assurance testing on our products, including products manufactured for us by third parties. Notwithstanding these requirements and our monitoring and testing of compliance with them, there is always a risk that one or more of our third-party manufacturers will not comply with our requirements and that we will not immediately discover such non-compliance. Any failure of our third-party manufacturers to comply with labor, consumer, product safety or other applicable requirements in manufacturing products for us could result in damage to our reputation, harm sales of our products and potentially create liability for us.
Our success is critically dependent on the efforts and dedication of our officers and other employees.
Our officers and employees are at the heart of all of our efforts. It is their skill, innovation and hard work that drive our success. We compete with many other potential employers in recruiting, hiring and retaining our senior management team and our many other skilled officers and employees around the world. In the entertainment industry, experienced personnel and top creative talent are in high demand and competition for their talents is intense. The impact of failing to retain key employees can be high due to loss of key knowledge and relationships, loss of creative talent, lost productivity, hiring and training costs, all of which could result in lower profitability. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to recruit, hire or retain the senior management, officers and employees we need to succeed.
Recently we have experienced significant changes in our workforce due to our acquisition of eOne, as well as our restructuring efforts and the recruitment and hiring of new skill sets required for our changing global business. The changes in our employee composition, both in terms of global distribution and in skill sets, have required changes in our business. Our loss of key management or other employees, or our inability to hire talented people with the skill sets we need for our changing business, could significantly harm our business.
To remain competitive we must continuously develop new skills and work to increase efficiency and reduce costs, but we cannot guarantee we will be successful in this regard.
Our business is extremely competitive, the pace of change in our industry is getting faster and our competitors are always working to be more efficient and profitable. To compete, we must continuously improve our processes, increase efficiency and work to reduce our expenses. We intend to achieve this partly by focusing on a select number of global brand initiatives and through process improvements, including in global product development. However, we cannot guarantee we will achieve our cost savings and efficiency enhancing goals and we may realize fewer benefits than are expected from these initiatives.
In response to the continuing evolution of the global consumer landscape, shopping behaviors and the retail environment, in recent years, we have taken certain actions as part of our ongoing efforts to transform and reimagine our business, to strengthen our connections with audiences and consumers, and enhance our ability to continue bringing meaningful brand experiences to life. These actions included a commercial reorganization as well as adding new capabilities based on our understanding of changing consumer behaviors and how our retailers are going to market, while also changing many of the ways we organize across our brand blueprint. The actions also included headcount reductions aimed at right-sizing our cost-structure. We cannot guarantee that our restructuring actions will deliver the cost-reductions we estimate or that our ongoing efforts to evolve our business will be as successful as we plan.
Our business is critically dependent on our intellectual property rights and we may not be able to protect such rights successfully.
Our intellectual property, including our trademarks and tradenames, copyrights, patents, and rights under our license agreements and other agreements that establish our intellectual property rights and maintain the confidentiality of our intellectual property, is of critical value. We rely on a combination of trade secret, copyright, trademark, patent and other proprietary rights laws to protect our rights to valuable intellectual property related to our brands in the U.S. and around the world. From time to time, third parties have challenged, and may in the future try to challenge, our ownership of our intellectual property in the U.S. and around the world. In addition, our business is subject to the risk of third parties counterfeiting our products or infringing on our intellectual property rights, including the possibility of unauthorized third parties copying and distributing our productions or certain portions or applications of our intended productions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. We may need to resort to litigation to protect our intellectual property rights, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. Similarly, third parties may claim ownership over certain aspects of our products, productions or other intellectual property. Our failure to successfully protect our intellectual property rights could significantly harm our business and competitive position.
We have a material amount of acquired product rights which, if impaired, would result in a reduction of our net earnings.
Much of our intellectual property has been internally developed and has no carrying value on our consolidated balance sheets. Declines in the profitability of acquired brands or licensed products or our decision to reduce our focus or exit these brands may impact our ability to recover the carrying value of the related assets and could result in an impairment charge. Reduction in our net earnings caused by impairment charges could harm our financial results.
We may incur impairments and write‑offs if the films and television programs we acquire and produce do not perform well enough to recoup our acquisition, production, marketing and distribution costs.
We incur significant costs to acquire, produce and distribute content. Most agreements to acquire content for distribution require minimum guarantees against royalties. The minimum guarantees are derived from our estimate of net revenues that will be realized from our distribution of the title in the relevant markets, and actual results may differ from those estimates. If sales do not meet our original estimates, we may: (i) not recognize the expected gross margin or net profit; (ii) not recoup our minimum guarantees or distribution expenses; (iii) record accelerated amortization and/or fair value write‑downs of minimum guarantees paid; or (iv) not recoup the additional funds and expenses invested to market films that we have produced or acquired.
With respect to content we produce, we are required to amortize capitalized production costs based on estimated ultimate revenue as we recognize revenues from the associated films or television productions. Unamortized production costs are evaluated for impairment each reporting period on a project‑by‑project basis. If estimated remaining revenue is not sufficient to recover the unamortized production costs, the unamortized production costs will be written down to fair value. In any given quarter, if we lower our previous forecast with respect to total anticipated revenue from any individual film or other project, we may be required to accelerate
amortization or record impairment charges with respect to the unamortized costs, even if we have previously recorded impairment charges for such film or other project. Such impairment and accelerated amortization charges and write‑offs could harm our financial results.
Similarly, our business could be harmed by greater-than-expected costs, or unexpected delays or difficulties, associated with our investment in Discovery Family Channel, such as difficulties in increasing subscribers to the network or in building advertising revenues for Discovery Family Channel. If the Discovery Family Channel is not successful our investments may become impaired, which could result in a write-down through net earnings.
We incurred significant indebtedness in connection with our acquisition of eOne. As a result it may be more difficult for us to pay or refinance our debt or take other actions, and we may need to divert cash to fund debt service payments.
We incurred significant indebtedness to finance our acquisition of eOne. The increase in our debt service obligations resulting from additional indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on the results of operations, financial condition and prospects of the combined company.
In particular, our increased indebtedness could:
make it more difficult and/or costly for us to pay or refinance our debts as they become due, particularly during adverse economic and industry conditions, because a decrease in revenues or increase in costs could cause cash flow from operations to be insufficient to make scheduled debt service payments;
require a substantial portion of our available cash to be used for debt service payments, thereby reducing the availability of our cash to fund working capital, capital expenditures, development projects, acquisitions or other strategic opportunities, dividend payments, share repurchases and other general corporate purposes, which could harm our prospects for growth and the market price of the notes and other debt securities, among other things;
result in downgrades in the credit ratings on our indebtedness, which could limit our ability to borrow additional funds on favorable terms or at all (including in order to refinance our other debt), increase the interest rates under our credit facilities (including the Hasbro term loan facility) and under any new indebtedness we may incur, and reduce the trading prices of our outstanding debt securities and common stock;
make it more difficult for us to raise capital to fund working capital, make capital expenditures, pay dividends, pursue strategic initiatives or for other purposes;
result in higher interest expense, which could be further increased in case of current or future borrowings subject to variable rates of interest;
require that materially adverse terms, conditions or covenants be placed on us under our debt instruments, which could include, for example, limitations on additional borrowings or limitations on our ability to create liens, pay dividends, repurchase our common stock or make investments, any of which could hinder our access to capital markets or our flexibility in the conduct of our business and make us more vulnerable to economic downturns and adverse competitive industry conditions; and
jeopardize our ability to pay our indebtedness if we were to experience a severe downturn in our business.
We have relied on external financing, including our credit facility, to help fund our operations. If we were unable to obtain or service such financing, or if the restrictions imposed by such financing were too burdensome, our business would be harmed.
Due to the seasonal nature of our business, in order to meet our working capital needs, particularly those in the third and fourth quarters, we may rely on our commercial paper program, revolving credit facility and our other credit facilities for working capital. We currently have a commercial paper program which, subject to market conditions, and availability under our committed revolving credit facility, allows us to issue up to $1,000.0 million in aggregate amount of commercial paper outstanding from time to time as a source of working capital funding and liquidity. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to issue commercial paper on favorable terms, or at all, at any given point in time.
We also have a revolving credit agreement which provides for a $1,500.0 million committed revolving credit facility, effective upon completion of the acquisition of eOne on December 30, 2019. This facility is a further source of working capital funding and liquidity and supports borrowings under our commercial paper program. The credit
agreement contains certain restrictive covenants setting forth leverage and coverage requirements, and certain other limitations typical of an investment grade facility. These restrictive covenants may limit our future actions as well as our financial, operating and strategic flexibility. Non-compliance with our debt covenants could result in us being unable to utilize borrowings under our revolving credit facility and other bank lines, a circumstance which potentially could occur when operating shortfalls would require supplementary borrowings to enable us to continue to fund our operations.
Not only may our individual financial performance impact our ability to access sources of external financing, but significant disruptions to credit markets in general may also harm our ability to obtain financing. In times of severe economic downturn and/or distress in the credit markets, it is possible that one or more sources of external financing may be unable or unwilling to provide funding to us. In such a situation, it may be that we would be unable to access funding under our existing credit facilities, and it might not be possible to find alternative sources of funding.
We also may choose to finance our capital needs, from time to time, through the issuance of debt securities. Our ability to issue such securities on satisfactory terms, if at all, will depend on the state of our business and financial condition, any ratings issued by major credit rating agencies, market interest rates, and the overall condition of the financial and credit markets at the time of the offering. The condition of the credit markets and prevailing interest rates have fluctuated significantly in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future. Variations in these factors could make it difficult for us to sell debt securities or require us to offer higher interest rates in order to sell new debt securities. The failure to receive financing on desirable terms, or at all, could damage our ability to support our future operations or capital needs or engage in other business activities.
If we are unable to generate sufficient available cash flow to service our outstanding debt we would need to refinance our outstanding debt or face default. We cannot guarantee that we would be able to refinance debt on favorable terms, or at all.
The production of films and television programs require a substantial investment of capital and utilizes production financing to invest in productions.
With the acquisition of eOne we expect to continue to use production financing to finance certain of our productions, which eOne has historically been able to obtain on commercially reasonable terms. In the event that we are unable to provide eOne with appropriate financing or if third party production financing becomes unavailable, for example, if finance providers become unwilling or unable (due to creditors’ own constraints and ability to lend) to provide production financing on reasonable commercial terms or at all, we may not have sufficient alternative funding sources available to finance a particular production. In this case, we may not be able to produce the films and television programs we aim to do as part of our business plan and strategy which could harm our business.
Following our acquisition of eOne, the distribution of Canadian certified content is an important part of our business, and we benefit from funding from the Canadian government.
eOne's Canadian business utilizes certain government incentive programs and tax credits in Canada to finance a portion of its production budgets. If these incentive programs or tax credits were to be reduced, amended or eliminated, or if eOne no longer qualified for these programs or tax credits, our and eOne’s business, financial condition, operating results or prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
The loss of Canadian status of Entertainment One Canada Ltd. could result in the loss of licenses, incentives and tax credits.
Through our acquisition of eOne, we indirectly acquired all of the non-voting equity shares and preferred shares in Entertainment One Canada Ltd. (“EOCL”) and (b) 25% of the voting shares in EOCL. The remaining 75% of the voting shares in EOCL are held by independent shareholders, who are not controlled by us. EOCL is able to benefit from a number of licenses, incentive programs and Canadian government tax credits as a result of it being “Canadian” as defined in the Investment Canada Act. As part of our acquisition of eOne, we have taken measures to ensure that EOCL’s Canadian status is maintained. There can be no assurance, however, that we will be able to maintain EOCL's Canadian status. The loss of EOCL’s Canadian status could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results or prospects, including the possible loss of future incentive programs and clawback of funding previously provided to EOCL.
As a manufacturer of consumer products and a large multinational corporation, we are subject to various government regulations and may be subject to additional regulations in the future, violation of which could subject us to sanctions or otherwise harm our business. In addition, we could be the subject of future product liability suits or product recalls, which could harm our business.
As a manufacturer of consumer products, we are subject to significant government regulations, including, in the U.S., under The Consumer Products Safety Act, The Federal Hazardous Substances Act, and The Flammable Fabrics Act, as well as under product safety and consumer protection statutes in our international markets. In addition, certain of our products are subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration or similar international authorities. In addition, advertising to children is subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and a host of other agencies globally, and the collection of information from children under the age of 13 is subject to the provisions of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and other privacy laws around the world. The collection of personally identifiable information from anyone, including adults, is under increasing regulation in many markets, and in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation became effective in the European Union. While we take all the steps we believe are necessary to comply with these acts and regulations, we cannot assure you that we will be in compliance and failure to comply with these requirements could result in fines, liabilities or sanctions which could have a significant negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We may also be subject to involuntary product recalls or may voluntarily conduct a product recall. While costs associated with product recalls have generally not been material to our business, the costs associated with future product recalls individually or in the aggregate in any given fiscal year could be significant. In addition, any product recall, regardless of direct costs of the recall, may harm consumer perceptions of our products and have a negative impact on our future revenues and results of operations.
Governments and regulatory agencies in the markets where we manufacture and sell products may enact additional regulations relating to product safety and consumer protection in the future and may also increase the penalties for failure to comply with product safety and consumer protection regulations. In addition, one or more of our customers might require changes in our products, such as the non-use of certain materials, in the future. Complying with any such additional regulations or requirements could impose increased costs on our business. Similarly, increased penalties for non-compliance could subject us to greater expense in the event any of our products were found to not comply with such regulations. Such increased costs or penalties could harm our business.
As a large, multinational corporation, we are subject to a host of governmental regulations throughout the world, including antitrust, customs and tax requirements, anti-boycott regulations, environmental regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Complying with these regulations imposes costs on us which can reduce our profitability and our failure to successfully comply with any such legal requirements could subject us to monetary liabilities and other sanctions that could further harm our business and financial condition.
Our business also involves risks of liability claims for media content, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
As a distributor and producer of media content, we may face potential liability for defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, copyright or trademark infringement, and other claims based on the nature and content of the materials distributed. These types of claims have been brought, sometimes successfully, against producers and distributors of media content. Any imposition of liability that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results or prospects.
Our entertainment business could be adversely affected by strikes or other union job actions.
Our entertainment business is directly or indirectly dependent upon highly specialized union members who are essential to the production of films and television programs. A strike by, or a lockout of, one or more of the unions that provide personnel essential to the production of films or television programs could delay or halt our ongoing production activities. Such a halt or delay, depending on the length of time, could cause a delay or interruption in our release of new films and television programs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions or investments in joint ventures, or those benefits may be delayed or reduced in their realization.
Acquisitions and investments have been a component of our growth and the development of our business, and that is likely to continue in the future. Acquisitions can broaden and diversify our brand holdings and product
offerings, and allow us to build additional capabilities and competencies around our brand blueprint. In reviewing potential acquisitions or investments, we target brands, assets or companies that we believe offer attractive entertainment products or offerings, the ability for us to leverage our entertainment offerings, opportunities to drive our strategic brand blueprint and associated competencies, or other synergies.
We cannot be certain that the products and offerings of companies we may acquire, or acquire an interest in, will achieve or maintain popularity with consumers in the future or that any such acquired companies or investments will allow us to more effectively market our products, develop our competencies or to grow our business. In some cases, we expect that the integration of the companies that we may acquire into our operations will create production, marketing and other operating, revenue or cost synergies which will produce greater revenue growth and profitability and, where applicable, cost savings, operating efficiencies and other advantages. However, we cannot be certain that these synergies, efficiencies and cost savings will be realized. Even if achieved, these benefits may be delayed or reduced in their realization. In other cases, we may acquire or invest in companies that we believe have strong and creative management, in which case we may plan to operate them more autonomously rather than fully integrating them into our operations. We cannot be certain that the key talented individuals at these companies would continue to work for us after the acquisition or that they would develop popular and profitable products, entertainment or services in the future. We cannot guarantee that any acquisition or investment we may make will be successful or beneficial, and acquisitions can consume significant amounts of management attention and other resources, which may negatively impact other aspects of our business. For additional risks relating to our acquisition of eOne, see “Risks Related to Our Business Following the Acquisition of eOne.”
Failure to successfully operate our information systems and implement new technology effectively could disrupt our business or reduce our sales or profitability.
We rely extensively on various information technology systems and software applications to manage many aspects of our business, including product development, management of our supply chain, sale and delivery of our products, financial reporting and various other processes and transactions. We are critically dependent on the integrity, security and consistent operations of these systems and related back-up systems. These systems are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, malware and other security breaches, catastrophic events such as hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, acts of war or terrorism and usage errors by our employees or partners. The efficient operation and successful growth of our business depends on these information systems, including our ability to operate them effectively and to select and implement appropriate upgrades or new technologies and systems and adequate disaster recovery systems successfully. The failure of our information systems to perform as designed or our failure to implement and operate them effectively could disrupt our business, require significant capital investments to remediate a problem or subject us to liability.
If our electronic data is compromised our business could be significantly harmed.
We and our business partners maintain significant amounts of data electronically in locations around the world. This data relates to all aspects of our business, including current and future products and entertainment under development, and also contains certain customer, consumer, supplier, partner and employee data. We maintain systems and processes designed to protect this data, but notwithstanding such protective measures, there is a risk of intrusion, cyber-attacks or tampering that could compromise the integrity and privacy of this data. In addition, we provide confidential and proprietary information to our third-party business partners in certain cases where doing so is necessary to conduct our business. While we obtain assurances from those parties that they have systems and processes in place to protect such data, and where applicable, that they will take steps to assure the protections of such data by third parties, nonetheless those partners may also be subject to data intrusion or otherwise compromise the protection of such data. Any compromise of the confidential data of our customers, consumers, suppliers, partners, employees or ourselves, or failure to prevent or mitigate the loss of or damage to this data through breach of our information technology systems or other means could substantially disrupt our operations, harm our customers, consumers, employees and other business partners, damage our reputation, violate applicable laws and regulations, subject us to potentially significant costs and liabilities and result in a loss of business that could be material.
From time to time, we are involved in litigation, arbitration or regulatory matters where the outcome is uncertain and which could entail significant expense.
As a large multinational corporation, we are subject, from time to time, to regulatory investigations, litigation and arbitration disputes, including potential liability from personal injury or property damage claims by the users of products that have been or may be developed by us as well as claims by third parties that our products infringe
upon or misuse such third parties’ property or rights. Because the outcome of litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations is inherently difficult to predict, it is possible that the outcome of any of these matters could entail significant cost for us and harm our business. The fact that we operate in a significant number of international markets also increases the risk that we may face legal and regulatory exposures as we attempt to comply with a large number of varying legal and regulatory requirements. Any successful claim against us could significantly harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in, or differing interpretations of, income tax laws and rules, and changes in our geographic operating results, may impact our effective tax rate.
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and in various international tax jurisdictions. We also conduct business activities between our operating units in various jurisdictions and we are subject to transfer pricing rules in the countries in which we operate. There is some degree of uncertainty and subjectivity in complying with transfer pricing rules. Our effective tax rate could be impacted by changes in, or the interpretation of, tax laws or by changes in the amount of revenue and earnings we derive, or are determined to derive by tax authorities, from jurisdictions with differing tax rates.
In addition, we may be subject to tax examinations by federal, state, and international jurisdictions, and these examinations can result in significant tax findings if the tax authorities interpret the application of laws and rules differently than we do or disagree with the intercompany rates we are applying. We assess the likelihood of outcomes resulting from tax uncertainties. While we believe our estimates are reasonable, the ultimate outcome of these uncertain tax benefits, or results of possible current or future tax examinations, may differ from our estimates and may have a significant adverse impact on our business and operating results.
We have a material amount of goodwill which, if it becomes impaired, would result in a reduction in our net earnings.
Goodwill is the amount by which the cost of an acquisition exceeds the fair value of the net assets we acquire. Goodwill is not amortized and is required to be evaluated for impairment at least annually. Declines in our profitability may impact the fair value of our reporting units, which could result in a write-down of our goodwill and consequently harm our results of operations. For example, during the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company took a number of actions to react to a rapidly changing mobile gaming industry that resulted in changes to the long-term projections for the Backflip business which led the Company to conclude the goodwill associated with the Backflip reporting unit was impaired which led to an impairment charge for the year ended December 30, 2018.
Risks Related to Our Business Following the Consummation of the Acquisition of eOne
We may not realize the anticipated financial benefits of the acquisition of eOne.
While we expect the acquisition of eOne to result in significant synergies and to be accretive to earnings per share (on an adjusted earnings basis that is not calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“U.S. GAAP”), this expectation is based on estimates and assumptions about, among other things, our and eOne’s business, the amount of revenues and savings that can be generated from moving a significant portion of eOne’s family brand licensing business in-house, our ability to enhance the profitability of eOne’s licensing and merchandising activities, the ability of the combined company to employ its enhanced capabilities in television, film and music to grow the overall business and successfully develop and drive branded entertainment, including entertainment based on our brands, and the ability of the combined company to successfully ideate and develop future intellectual property and brand extensions. These estimates and assumptions may be inaccurate and may change materially over time, reducing or eliminating the anticipated financial benefits of the acquisition. Further, this expectation is also based on the assumption that we are able to successfully integrate eOne’s business and operations with our business and operations and that we are able to effectively manage our expanded operations following the acquisition.
We may be unable to successfully integrate our and eOne’s businesses in order to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition within the intended timeframe or at all, and our acquisition of eOne will expose us to risks related to eOne’s business.
If we are unable to successfully integrate eOne’s business and operations with our business and operations, we may be unable to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition in the timeframe that we expect or at all. Any integration issues we face could also have an adverse effect on the combined company for an undetermined period after completion of the acquisition, including by adversely affecting our relationships with customers, consumers, suppliers, employees or other constituencies, any of which could adversely affect our business and financial results.
Difficulties we may encounter as part of the integration process or otherwise after the consummation of the acquisition include the following:
the ability to successfully apply capabilities and expertise in certain areas of the business to other areas of the combined business;
integration of management teams into a cohesive combined company;
differences in business backgrounds and models, corporate cultures and management philosophies;
the ability to continue to attract and retain key management and personnel;
the ability to create and implement a unified strategy, controls, procedures, policies and information systems;
the challenge of integrating complex systems, technology, networks and other assets of eOne into those of ours in a manner that minimizes any adverse impact on customers, consumers, suppliers, employees and other constituencies;
potential unknown liabilities and unforeseen expenses or delays associated with the acquisition, including costs to integrate eOne; and
the disruption of, or the loss of momentum in, our ongoing businesses, including the diversion of management’s attention away from ongoing business and towards integration matters.
In addition, we will also assume risks unique to the nature of eOne’s business. These risks are described above under “-Risks Related to Our Business”.
Our results after the consummation of the acquisition may suffer if we do not effectively manage our expanded operations.
Following the consummation of the acquisition, the size and complexity of our business has increased beyond the current size of our or eOne’s existing business. Our future success depends, in part, upon our ability to successfully manage this expanded business, which will pose substantial challenges for management, including challenges related to the management and monitoring of a significantly larger brand portfolio and complex organization across many global jurisdictions, additional revenue growth and expanded franchise economics expected as a result of the acquisition. We cannot assure you that we will be successful after completion of the acquisition or that we will realize the expected benefits currently anticipated from the acquisition.
The consummation of the acquisition may expose us to unknown liabilities.
Because we have acquired all of the outstanding equity interests of eOne, we have assumed responsibility for all of its liabilities. If there are unknown liabilities or other obligations, including contingent liabilities, our business could be materially affected. As a distributor and producer of media content, eOne faces potential liability for causes of action such as defamation, invasion of privacy or other claims based on the nature and content of the materials distributed. We may also learn additional information regarding eOne that adversely affects us, such as issues that could affect our ability to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or issues that could affect our ability to comply with other applicable laws.
The combined company will record goodwill and other intangible assets that could become impaired and result in material non-cash charges to the results of operations of the combined company in the future.
The acquisition is being accounted for as an acquisition by Hasbro in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Under the acquisition method of accounting, goodwill as of the acquisition date will be measured as the excess amount of consideration transferred, which is generally measured at a fair value, net of the acquisition date amounts of the identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed, which are also measured at their fair value. Goodwill must be assessed for impairment at least annually or whenever changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable from estimated future cash flows. Declines in operating results, divestitures, markets and other factors that may impact the fair value of a reporting unit could result in an impairment of goodwill or intangible assets, and, in turn, a charge to net income. Such a charge would have a negative impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
Unresolved Staff Comments.
Hasbro owns its corporate headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island consisting of approximately 343,000 square feet, which is used by corporate functions as well as the Global Operations and Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segments. The Company also owns an adjacent building consisting of approximately 23,000 square feet and leases a building in East Providence, Rhode Island consisting of approximately 120,000 square feet, both of which are used by corporate functions. The Company leases a facility in Providence, Rhode Island consisting of approximately 136,000 square feet which is used primarily by the U.S. and Canada segment, as well as the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital and Global Operations segments. In addition to the above facilities, the Company also leases office space consisting of approximately 126,000 square feet in Renton, Washington as well as warehouse space aggregating approximately 3,270,000 square feet in Georgia, California, Illinois and Quebec that are also used by the U.S. and Canada segment. The Company leases approximately 80,000 square feet in Burbank, California, 24,500 square feet in Boulder Colorado and 26,000 square feet in Dublin, Ireland that are used by the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment. The Global Operations segment also leases an aggregate of 81,700 square feet of office and warehouse space in Hong Kong as well as 68,500 square feet of office space leased in the People’s Republic of China.
Outside of the properties listed above, the Company leases or owns property in over 35 countries. The primary locations for facilities in the International segment are in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the People’s Republic of China, and the United Kingdom, all of which are comprised of both office and warehouse space. In addition, the Company also leases offices in Switzerland and the Netherlands which are primarily used in corporate functions.
eOne leases its properties and has principal office locations in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.
The above properties consist, in general, of brick, cinder block or concrete block buildings which the Company believes are in good condition and well maintained.
The Company believes that its facilities are adequate for its needs at this time, although as part of its ongoing business it does periodically assess if alternate facilities to one or more of the facilities mentioned above would provide business advantages. The Company believes that, should it not be able to renew any of the leases related to its leased facilities, it could secure similar substitute properties without a material adverse impact on its operations.
The Company is currently party to certain legal proceedings, none of which we believe to be material to our business or financial condition.
Mine Safety Disclosures.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
The Company’s common stock, par value $0.50 per share (the “Common Stock”), is traded on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “HAS”. As of February 11, 2020, there were approximately 7,862 shareholders of record of the Company’s Common Stock.
Issuer Repurchases of Common Stock
Repurchases made in the fourth quarter of 2019 (in whole numbers of shares and dollars):
(a) Total Number
of Shares (or
(b) Average Price
Paid per Share
(c) Total Number of Shares
(or Units) Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
(d) Maximum Number
(or Approximate Dollar
Value) of Shares (or
Units) that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Program
9/30/19 — 10/27/19
10/28/19 — 12/01/19
12/02/19 — 12/29/19
In May 2018, the Company announced that its Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million in Common Stock. Purchases of the Company’s Common Stock may be made from time to time, subject to market conditions. These shares may be repurchased in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. The Company has no obligation to repurchase shares under the authorization, and the timing, actual number, and value of the shares that are repurchased, if any, will depend on a number of factors, including the price of the Company’s stock and the Company's generation of, and uses for, cash. Following the Company’s acquisition of eOne, the Company suspended its share repurchase program while it prioritizes achieving its target debt to EBITDA levels. For further discussion related to the eOne acquisition, see note 22 to our consolidated financial statements, which are included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form10-K.
Selected Financial Data.
(Thousands of dollars and shares except per share data)
The fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 was a fifty-three week period. All other periods presented were fifty-two week periods.
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests
Net earnings attributable to Hasbro, Inc.
Per Common Share Data:
Net Earnings Attributable to Hasbro, Inc.
Cash dividends declared
Consolidated Balance Sheets Data:
Total long-term debt (1)
Weighted Average Number of Common Shares:
Represents principal balance of long-term debt. Excludes related deferred debt expenses.
See “Risk Factors” contained in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K for a discussion of risks and uncertainties that may affect future results. Also see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained in Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K for a discussion of factors affecting the comparability of information contained in this Item 6.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements of the Company included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contains forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s expectations and beliefs. See “Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” for a discussion of other uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements.
Unless otherwise specifically indicated, all dollar or share amounts herein are expressed in millions of dollars or shares, except for per share amounts.
Hasbro, Inc. ("Hasbro" or the "Company") is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play and Entertainment Experiences. From toys, games and consumer products to television, movies, digital gaming, live action, music, and virtual reality experiences, Hasbro connects to global audiences by bringing to life great innovations, stories and brands across established and inventive platforms. Hasbro’s iconic brands include MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, BABY ALIVE, POWER RANGERS and LITTLEST PET SHOP, as well as premier partner brands. Through our acquisition of Entertainment One Ltd. ("eOne"), acquired brands PEPPA PIG and PJ MASKS will be
included in Emerging Brands going forward. Through the Company's entertainment labels, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation, and now through the global entertainment studio operated by eOne, the Company is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for children and their families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.
Hasbro's strategic plan is centered around its brand blueprint. Under the brand blueprint strategy, Hasbro re-imagines, re-invents and re-ignites its owned and controlled brands and imagines, invents and ignites new brands, through product innovation, immersive entertainment offerings, including television and motion pictures, digital gaming and a broad range of consumer products. As the global consumer landscape, shopping behaviors and the retail environment continue to evolve, the Company continues to transform and reimagine its business strategy. This transformation includes reexamining the ways Hasbro organizes across its brand blueprint and re-shaping the Company to become a better equipped and adaptive, digitally-driven organization, including the development of an omni-channel retail presence and adding new capabilities through the on-boarding of new skill sets and talent. More recently, to enhance its long-term competitive position the Company has identified and pursued key growth opportunities through strategic acquisitions, to excel in today’s converged retail environment as a leading global play and entertainment company across all platforms.
Hasbro generates revenue and earns cash by developing, marketing and selling products based on global brands in a broad variety of consumer goods categories and distribution of television programming based on the Company’s properties, as well as through the out-licensing of rights for third parties to use its properties in connection with products, including digital media and games and other consumer products. Hasbro also leverages its competencies to develop and market products based on well-known licensed brands including, but not limited to, BEYBLADE, DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN, DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS, MARVEL, SESAME STREET, STAR WARS, and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS. MARVEL, STAR WARS, DISNEY PRINCESS, DISNEY FROZEN and DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS are owned by The Walt Disney Company.
For the periods presented in this Form 10-K, the Company’s business is separated into three principal business segments: U.S. and Canada, International, and Entertainment, Licensing and Digital. The U.S. and Canada segment markets and sells both toy and game products primarily in the United States and Canada. The International segment consists of the Company’s European, Asia Pacific and Latin and South American toy and game marketing and sales operations. The Company’s Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment includes the Company’s consumer products licensing, digital licensing and gaming, and movie and television entertainment operations. In addition to these three primary segments, the Company’s product sourcing operations are managed through its Global Operations segment. With the completion of the acquisition of eOne in fiscal 2020, the results of eOne will be reported as a separate operating segment.
The impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates used to translate the consolidated statements of operations is quantified by translating the current period revenues at the prior period exchange rates and comparing this amount to the prior period reported revenues. The Company believes that the presentation of the impact of changes in exchange rates, which are beyond the Company’s control, is helpful to an investor’s understanding of the performance of the underlying business. The Company has also included in this report, the impact on 2019 net earnings and earnings per share, of the termination and settlement of its U.S. defined benefit pension plan and the impact of certain transaction costs, financing transaction fees and net hedge gains in association with the Company's agreement to acquire eOne. In addition, the Company has included in this report, the impact on 2018 net earnings and earnings per share, of intangible asset and goodwill impairments, organizational restructuring charges, the Toys“R”Us bankruptcy and U.S. tax reform, passed in December 2017.
Acquisition of Entertainment One
On December 30, 2019, the Company completed the acquisition of eOne for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $4.6 billion, comprised of $3.8 billion of cash consideration for shares outstanding and $0.8 billion related to the redemption of eOne's outstanding senior secured notes and the payoff of eOne's revolving credit facility. The Company financed the acquisition through a combination of the following debt and equity financings: (i) the issuance of senior unsecured notes in an aggregate principal amount of $2.4 billion, (ii) the issuance of 10,592,106 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $95.00 per share and (iii) $1.0 billion in term loans. eOne is a global independent studio that specializes in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content.
The addition of eOne accelerates the Company’s brand blueprint strategy by expanding our brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, including PEPPA PIG, PJ MASKS and RICKY ZOOM, adding proven TV and film expertise, and creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth. See Part I, Item 1. Business, for a brief description of eOne’s business.
Results discussed herein do not include the results of eOne as the acquisition of eOne was completed in the first quarter of 2020.
Net revenues of $4,720.2 million increased 3% from $4,579.6 million in 2018. The increase in net revenues includes an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $78.5 million.
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues increased 3%; International segment net revenues decreased 1%, including an unfavorable foreign currency translation impact of $76.5 million; Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment net revenues increased 22%.
Partner Brands net revenues increased 24%; Emerging Brands net revenues increased 5%; Franchise Brands net revenues declined 1%; Hasbro Gaming net revenues declined 10%.
Operating profit was $652.1 million, or 13.8% of net revenues in 2019 compared to operating profit of $331.1 million, or 7.2% of net revenues in 2018.
2019 operating profit was negatively impacted by $17.8 million of pre-tax acquisition related costs associated with the eOne transaction.
2018 operating profit was negatively impacted by $60.4 million of costs related to the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy, $89.3 million associated with the Company’s 2018 restructuring program and impairment charges of $117.6 million related to Backflip Studios and other intangible assets.
Net earnings increased in 2019 to $520.5 million, or $4.05 per diluted share, compared to $220.4 million, or $1.74 per diluted share in 2018.
2019 net earnings were impacted by pension settlement charges, net of tax, of $86.0 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, partially offset by a net benefit, net of tax, of $81.8 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, from foreign currency gains related to hedging a portion of the eOne British pound sterling purchase price and other eOne acquisition related costs.
2018 net earnings were negatively impacted by costs related to the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy, net of tax, of $52.8 million or $0.42 per diluted share, impairment charges related to Backflip Studios and other intangible assets, net of tax, of $96.9 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, costs associated with the Company’s 2018 restructuring program, net of tax, of $77.9 million or $0.61 per diluted share and charges related to adjustments to provisional U.S. Tax Reform amounts of $40.7 million or $0.32 per diluted share.
Net revenues of $4,579.6 million decreased 12% from 5,209.8 million in 2017. The decline in net revenues included an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $43.0 million.
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues declined 10%; International segment net revenues declined 17% and included an unfavorable foreign currency translation impact of $41.7 million; Entertainment and Licensing segment net revenues increased 9%.
Franchise Brands net revenues declined 9%, Partner Brands net revenues declined 22%, Hasbro Gaming net revenues declined 12% and Emerging Brands net revenues increased 1%.
Operating profit was $331.1 million, or 7.2% of net revenues in 2018 compared to operating profit of $810.4 million, or 15.6% of net revenues in 2017.
2018 operating profit was negatively impacted by: non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges of $117.6 million related to Backflip Studios and other intangible assets; severance costs of $89.3 million associated with the Company's 2018 restructuring program; and $60.4 million of costs related to the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy.
2017 operating profit was negatively impacted by the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy in the U.S. and Canada as a result of incremental bad debt expense recorded during the third quarter of 2017.
Impact from U.S. tax reform resulted in a net charge of $40.7 million in 2018 due to the remeasurement of liabilities based on additional guidance and regulations issued in 2018.
Net earnings declined in 2018 to $220.4 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, compared to $396.6 million, or $3.12 per diluted share in 2017.
Share Repurchases and Dividends
The Company has historically returned excess cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. The Company seeks to return cash to its shareholders through the payment of quarterly dividends. Hasbro maintained its 2019 quarterly dividend rate of $0.68 per share into 2020 for the Company's dividend payment scheduled for May 2020. In the previous 17 years, the Company has increased its quarterly cash dividend 15 times from $0.03 to $0.68 per share. In addition to the dividend, the Company periodically returns cash to shareholders through its share repurchase program. As part of this initiative, since 2005 the Company’s Board of Directors adopted nine share repurchase authorizations with a cumulative authorized repurchase amount of $4,325.0 million. The ninth authorization was approved in May 2018 for $500 million. During 2019, Hasbro repurchased approximately 0.7 million shares at a total cost of $61.4 million and an average price of $87.41 per share. Since 2005, Hasbro has repurchased 108.6 million shares at a total cost of $3,961.2 million and an average price of $36.44 per share. At December 29, 2019, Hasbro had $366.6 million remaining available under these share repurchase authorizations. As a result of the financing activities related to the eOne acquisition, the Company has suspended its share repurchase program while it prioritizes reducing its long-term debt and achieving its gross debt to EBITDA targets.
The following table provides a summary of the Company’s condensed consolidated results as a percentage of net revenues for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Earnings before income taxes
Results of Operations — Consolidated
The fiscal years ended December 29, 2019 and December 30, 2018 were each fifty-two week periods while the year ended December 31, 2017 was a fifty-three week period.
Net earnings increased to $520.5 million for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2019 compared to $220.4 million for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2018, and $396.6 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.
Diluted earnings per share were $4.05 in 2019, $1.74 in 2018 and $3.12 in 2017.
Net earnings and diluted earnings per share for each fiscal year in the three years ended December 29, 2019 include certain charges and benefits as described below.
A net charge of $86.0 million or $0.67 per diluted share associated with the settlement of the Company's U.S. defined benefit pension plan in the second quarter of 2019. During 2018 the Compensation Committee of the Company's Board of Directors approved a resolution to terminate the Company's U.S. defined benefit pension plan and commenced the termination process. During the second and fourth quarters of 2019, the Company settled remaining benefits directly with vested participants.
A net benefit, of $81.8 million or $0.64 per diluted share related to transaction costs and hedge gains associated with the Company's agreement to acquire eOne in an all cash transaction. The $81.8 million after-tax gain consisted of the following: (i) hedge gains of $114.1 million related to the foreign exchange forward and option contracts to hedge a portion of the eOne purchase price and related costs; (ii) financing transaction fees of $20.6 million, primary related to the Company’s bridge facility which was terminated unused in the fourth quarter of 2019; (iii) eOne acquisition costs of $17.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2019; and (iv) tax benefits of $6.1 million for the full year 2019 related to the charges outlined in (ii) and (iii) above.
A net charge of $96.9 million or $0.76 per diluted share associated with a fourth quarter 2018 non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the Company’s Backflip Studios goodwill and impairment of certain other definite-lived intangible assets.
A net charge of $77.9 million or $0.61 per diluted share of severance costs associated with organizational restructuring. In the first quarter of 2018, the Company incurred a net charge of $15.7 million of severance charges, and in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company recorded an additional net charge of $62.2 million of severance charges related to actions associated with its 2018 restructuring program.
A net charge of $52.8 million or $0.42 per diluted share related to the Toys“R”Us bankruptcy and liquidation of its U.S. and other operations around the globe. The Company recognized incremental bad debt expense on outstanding Toys“R”Us receivables, royalty expense, inventory obsolescence as well as other related costs. In the fourth quarter of 2018, based on its final settlement with Toys“R”Us, the Company made adjustments to charges previously recorded during 2018.
A net charge of $40.7 million or $0.32 per diluted share related to U.S. tax reform. In 2018 the Company made adjustments to provisional U.S. Tax Reform amounts recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017, based on additional guidance issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service during 2018.
A net charge of $296.5 million or $2.33 per diluted share related to U.S. tax reform. This net charge includes a $316.4 million charge included in income taxes due to the estimated repatriation tax liability and adjustments to the Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities; partially offset by a $19.9 million gain within other income due to the change in the value of a long-term liability following the change in the U.S. corporate tax rate beginning in 2018.
Consolidated net revenues for the year ended December 29, 2019 grew 3% to $4,720.2 million from $4,579.6 million for the year ended December 30, 2018. Net revenues in 2019 include an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $78.5 million, which is the result of weakening currencies compared to the U.S. dollar, primarily in our International segment in 2019 compared to 2018. See discussion of brand portfolio below.
Consolidated net revenues for the year ended December 30, 2018 declined 12% to $4,579.6 million from $5,209.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and included an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $43.0 million, which was the result of weakening currencies primarily in our International segment in 2018 compared to 2017. See discussion of brand portfolio below.
The following chart presents net revenues expressed in millions of dollars, by brand portfolio for each year in the three years ended December 29, 2019.
2019 versus 2018
Partner Brands and Emerging Brands net revenues grew in 2019 compared to 2018, while net revenues from Franchise Brands and the Hasbro Gaming portfolio declined.
Franchise Brands The Franchise Brands portfolio declined 1% in 2019 compared to 2018. Higher net revenues from MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY and PLAY-DOH products were more than offset by net revenue declines from NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, BABY ALIVE and to a lesser extent, TRANSFORMERS products.
Partner Brands The Partner Brands portfolio increased 24% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Within the Partner Brands portfolio, there are a number of entertainment-based brands which, from year to year, may be supported by major theatrical releases. As such, category net revenues by brand fluctuate from year-to-year depending on movie popularity, release dates and related product line offerings and success. In 2019,
products related to three Partner Brands were supported by major theatrical releases – MARVEL products were supported by the second quarter 2019 theatrical release, AVENGERS: END GAME and the third quarter 2019 theatrical release, SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, DISNEY’S FROZEN products were supported by fourth quarter 2019 theatrical release, FROZEN 2 and STAR WARS products were supported by STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, released during the fourth quarter of 2019. Historically these entertainment-based brands experience higher revenues during years in which major motion pictures are released.
During 2019, the increase in net revenues was driven by DISNEY FROZEN and MARVEL products, and to a lesser extent DISNEY’S DECENDANTS and STAR WARS products. These increases were partially offset by net revenue declines from DISNEY PRINCESS and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS products during 2019.
Hasbro Gaming The Hasbro Gaming portfolio declined 10% in 2019 compared to 2018. Lower net revenues from PIE FACE, SPEAK OUT and certain other Hasbro Gaming products were partially offset by net revenue increases from DUNGEONS & DRAGONS products.
Net revenues for Hasbro’s total gaming category, including the Hasbro Gaming portfolio as reported above, and all other gaming revenue, most notably MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY, which are included in the Franchise Brands portfolio, totaled $1,528.3 million in 2019, an increase of 6%, versus $1,443.2 million in 2018.
Emerging Brands The Emerging Brands portfolio grew 5% in 2019 compared to 2018. Net revenues were positively impacted by the introduction of the Company's POWER RANGERS products, as well as net revenue increases from PLAYSKOOL products, which were partially offset by net revenue declines from LITTLEST PET SHOP and LOST KITTIES products.
2018 versus 2017
Franchise Brands, Partner Brands and Hasbro Gaming net revenues declined in 2018 compared to 2017, while net revenues from the Emerging Brands portfolio grew slightly.
Franchise Brands The Franchise Brands portfolio declined 9% in 2018 compared to 2017. Higher net revenues from MONOPOLY and MAGIC: THE GATHERING products were more than offset by net revenue declines from NERF products, which were impacted by the loss of sales related to the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of Toys“R”Us. Also contributing to Franchise Brands net revenue declines in 2018 were MY LITTLE PONY products, supported in 2017 by the theatrical release of MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, TRANSFORMERS products, also supported in 2017 by the major theatrical release of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, and to a lesser extent, BABY ALIVE products.
Partner Brands The Partner Brands portfolio declined 22% in 2018 compared to 2017. Lower net revenues from STAR WARS, DISNEY PRINCESS and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS products, as well as net revenue declines from DISNEY FROZEN and DISNEY’S DECENDANTS products were partially offset by net revenue increases from BEYBLADE and MARVEL products.
Within the Partner Brands portfolio, there are a number of entertainment-based brands which, from year to year, may be supported by major theatrical releases. As such, category net revenues by brand fluctuate from year-to-year depending on movie popularity, release dates and related product line offerings and success. In 2018, STAR WARS products were supported by the second quarter 2018 major theatrical release SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. Historically these entertainment-based brands experience revenue growth during film years with sharp declines in subsequent years.
Hasbro Gaming The Hasbro Gaming portfolio declined 12% in 2018 compared to 2017. Lower net revenues from PIE FACE and SPEAK OUT and certain other Hasbro Gaming products were partially offset by net revenue increases from DUNGEONS and DRAGONS, DON’T STEP IN IT, CONNECT 4 and JENGA products.
Net revenues for Hasbro’s total gaming category, including the Hasbro Gaming portfolio as reported above, and all other gaming revenue, most notably MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY, which are included in the Franchise Brands portfolio, totaled $1,443.2 million in 2018, down 4%, versus $1,497.8 million in 2017.
Emerging Brands The Emerging Brands portfolio grew 1% in 2018 compared to 2017. Net revenue contributions from the introduction of Hasbro’s new collectable product lines of LOST KITTIES and YELLIES products, as well as contributions from POWER RANGERS licensing revenues, were partially offset by net revenue declines from FURREAL FRIENDS, FURBY and the Company’s core PLAYSKOOL products.
Most of the Company’s net revenues and operating profits are derived from its three principal segments: the U.S. and Canada segment, the International segment and the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment, which are discussed in detail below.
As a result of the realignment of the Company's financial reporting segments, 2018 and 2017 net revenues of $57.7 million and $39.8 million, respectively, and operating profit(loss) of $11.8 million and $(13.9) million, respectively, were reclassified from the U.S. and Canada segment to the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment to conform to current year presentation.
The chart below illustrates net revenues expressed in millions of dollars, derived from our principal operating segments in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
U.S. and Canada *
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital *
*As a result of the realignment of the Company’s financial reporting segments during the first quarter of 2019, net revenues of $57.7 million and $39.8 million from 2018 and 2017, respectively, were reclassified from the U.S. and Canada segment to the Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment, to conform to current year presentation.
U.S. and Canada
2019 versus 2018
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues increased 3% in 2019 compared to 2018. Revenues in the U.S. and Canada segment were not materially impacted by foreign currency translation. Segment net revenues increased from growth in Partner Brands and Emerging Brands, partially offset by lower net revenues from Franchise Brands and the Hasbro Gaming portfolio.
In the Franchise Brands portfolio, higher net revenues from MAGIC: THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH and MONOPOLY products were more than offset by lower net revenues from NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, BABY ALIVE and TRANSFORMERS products. In the Partner Brands portfolio, higher net revenues from DISNEY FROZEN, STAR WARS and BEYBLADE products were partially offset by lower net revenues from DREAMWORKS' TROLLS and DISNEY PRINCESS products during 2019. In the Hasbro Gaming portfolio, lower net revenues from PIE FACE, SPEAK OUT and certain other Hasbro Gaming products were partially offset by net revenue increases from DUNGEONS & DRAGONS products. In the Emerging Brands portfolio, the positive impact from the introduction of the Company’s POWER RANGERS products, as well as net revenue increases from PLAYSKOOL products, were partially offset by net revenue declines from LITTLEST PET SHOP and LOST KITTIES products.
2018 versus 2017
U.S. and Canada segment net revenues declined 10% in 2018 compared to 2017. Revenues in the U.S. and Canada segment were not materially impacted by foreign currency translation. Segment net revenues declined in all product categories including Franchise Brands, Partner Brands and Hasbro Gaming, and to a lesser extent, net revenues declined in the Emerging Brands portfolio.
In the Franchise Brands portfolio, higher net revenues from MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY products were more than offset by lower net revenues from NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, BABY ALIVE and TRANSFORMERS products. In the Partner Brands portfolio, contributing to net revenue declines in 2018 were STAR WARS, DISNEY PRINCESS and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS products, as well as lower net revenues from DISNEY’S DESCENDANTS products and the Company’s DISNEY FROZEN products. These declines were partially offset by net revenue increases from BEYBLADE and MARVEL products. In the Hasbro Gaming portfolio, higher net revenues from DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, CONNECT 4 and DON’T STEP IN IT products were more than offset by lower net revenues from PIE FACE, SPEAK OUT and TOILET TROUBLE products, as well as certain other games brands. In the Emerging Brands portfolio, net revenue increases from the introduction of the
Company’s line of LOST KITTIES, YELLIES and certain other Emerging Brands products were more than offset by lower net revenues from FURREAL FRIENDS, LITTLEST PET SHOP and core PLAYSKOOL products.
To calculate the year-over-year percentage change in net revenues absent the impact of foreign currency translation, net revenues were recalculated using those foreign currency translation rates in place for the prior year comparable period.
2019 versus 2018
International segment net revenues decreased approximately 1% in 2019 compared to 2018 which includes an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $76.5 million (Europe — $44.9 million, Latin America — $19.5 million, Asia Pacific — $12.1 million). Unfavorable foreign currency translation reflects the strengthening of the U.S. dollar when compared to the Euro as well as compared to foreign currencies throughout the Latin American and Asia Pacific regions. Absent the impact of foreign currency translation, International segment net revenues increased 4% in 2019 compared to 2018. On a regional basis, net revenues from Europe remained flat, Latin America declined 4% while net revenues from the Company’s Asia Pacific region increased 3% in 2019 from 2018. Net Revenues in emerging markets decreased 5% during 2019.
Higher net revenues from Partner Brands were wholly offset by lower net revenues from the Franchise Brands, Hasbro Gaming and Emerging Brands portfolios.
In the Franchise Brands portfolio, the primary drivers of the net revenue declines include lower sales of MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS and NERF products, and to a lesser extent, BABY ALIVE products. These net revenue declines were partially offset by net revenue increases from MONOPOLY and MAGIC: THE GATHERING products. In the Partner Brands portfolio, higher net revenues from DISNEY FROZEN and MARVEL products were partially offset by lower net revenues from BEYBLADE, DISNEY PRINCESS and STAR WARS products. In the Hasbro Gaming portfolio, the International segment saw lower net revenues from PIE FACE and SPEAK OUT products as well as lower net revenues from certain other traditional games brands. These decreases were partially offset by net revenue increases from CONNECT 4, OPERATION and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS products. In the Emerging Brands portfolio, lower net revenues from LITTLEST PET SHOP and LOST KITTIES products were partially offset by net revenue contributions from POWER RANGERS products, as well as net revenue increases from PLAYSKOOL products.
2018 versus 2017
International segment net revenues decreased approximately 17% in 2018 compared to 2017 which includes an unfavorable foreign currency translation of $41.7 million (Latin America — $31.2 million, Europe — $9.0 million, Asia Pacific — $1.5 million). On a regional basis, net revenues from Europe declined 24%, Latin America declined 6% while net revenues from the Company’s Asia Pacific region declined 5% in 2018 from 2017. Net Revenues in emerging markets decreased 12% during 2018. Unfavorable foreign currency translation reflects the strengthening of the U.S. dollar compared to certain foreign currencies, primarily currencies throughout Latin America and the Euro. Absent the impact of foreign currency translation, International segment net revenues decreased 15% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Lower net revenues from the Franchise Brands, Partner Brands and Hasbro Gaming portfolios were partially offset by higher net revenues from the Emerging Brands portfolio.
In the Franchise Brands portfolio, the primary drivers of the net revenue declines include lower sales of MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, NERF and PLAY-DOH products. These net revenue declines were partially offset by net revenue increases from MONOPOLY products. In the Partner Brands portfolio, lower net revenues from STAR WARS and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS products, as well as net revenue declines from the Company’s line of DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN fashion and small dolls, were partially offset by net revenue increases from BEYBLADE and to a lesser extent, MARVEL products. In the Hasbro Gaming portfolio, the International segment saw lower net revenues from the majority of Hasbro Gaming products including social gaming products PIE FACE, SPEAK OUT and TOILET TROUBLE as well as lower net revenues from certain other traditional games brands, including LIFE, OPERATION and BOP-IT products. In the Emerging Brands portfolio, net revenue increases from the introduction of LOST KITTIES, LOCK STARS and YELLIES products during 2018, as
well as net revenue increases from LITTLEST PET SHOP products, were partially offset by lower net revenues from FURREAL FRIENDS, FURBY and core PLAYSKOOL products.
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital
2019 versus 2018
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment net revenues increased 22% in 2019 compared to 2018. Net Revenue growth in 2019 was driven primarily by MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA and the Company's share of revenues related to TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE, the 2018 theatrical release produced jointly with Paramount Pictures. Increased licensing revenues from the TRANSFORMERS and MONOPOLY brands during 2019 also contributed to the net revenue increase. Partially offsetting these increases were lower net revenues related to streaming digital television content in 2019 compared to 2018.
2018 versus 2017
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment net revenues increased 10% in 2018 compared to 2017. Net revenue growth in 2018 was driven by MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA as well as increased television programming and movie revenues, primarily recognized for content delivered under a multi-year digital streaming deal entered in the third quarter of 2018. Higher full-year revenues due to the adoption of ASC 606 as discussed in notes 1 and 2 to our consolidated financial statements which are included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K, also drove the increase in 2018. Partially offsetting these increases were lower digital and consumer product licensing revenues in 2018 compared to 2017.
The table below illustrates operating profit expressed in millions of dollars and operating profit margins, derived from our principal operating segments in 2019, 2018 and 2017. For a reconciliation of segment operating profit to total Company operating profit, see note 21 to our consolidated financial statements which are included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
U.S. and Canada
Entertainment & Licensing
U.S. and Canada
2019 versus 2018
U.S. and Canada segment operating profit increased $45.2 million to $415.4 million in 2019 compared to $370.2 million in 2018. Absent the impact of the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation included within 2018 operating profit, the operating profit for 2019 increased $60.2 million. Operating profit margin increased to 17.0% of net revenues in 2019 from 15.6% of net revenues in 2018. Operating profit in 2018 was negatively impacted by charges of $45.8 million related to the bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation of Toys"R"Us. Absent these charges, operating profit declined slightly as higher partner brand sales generated higher royalty expense, and lower advertising and administrative expense was largely offset by increased warehousing costs as a result of higher domestic shipments and higher intangible amortization expense as a result of a full year of amortization from the Power Rangers Acquisition in 2018.
2018 versus 2017
U.S. and Canada segment operating profit decreased 29% in 2018 compared to 2017. The decline in operating profit includes pre-tax charges of $45.8 million in 2018 related to the bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation of Toys“R”Us. Segment operating profit was negatively impacted by the loss of Toys“R”Us sales throughout the year as well as a higher mix of retail close-out sales in 2018. Operating profit margin decreased to 15.6% of net revenues in 2018 from 19.8% of net revenues in 2017. The operating profit margin decline was the result of the negative margin impact of the Toys“R”Us bad debt expense in 2018, lower sales and unfavorable product mix as well as higher freight costs in the U.S., partially offset by lower royalty expenses due to lower revenues from Partner Brands products in 2018, as well as lower product development and advertising costs in 2018. Foreign currency translation did not have a material impact on U.S. and Canada operating profit in 2018.
2019 versus 2018
International segment operating profit increased $67.8 million to $107.3 million in 2019 compared to $39.5 million in 2018. Absent the impact of the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy filing and subsequent liquidation to 2018 operating profit, operating profit in 2019 increased $60.2 million. Operating profit margin increased to 5.8% in 2019 from 2.1% in 2018. The increase in operating profit and operating profit margin, as reported, is due to increased revenues, lower cost of sales due to improved inventory management, lower advertising costs and lower administrative costs. These decreases were partially offset by increased royalty expenses associated with higher sales of partner brand products and higher intangible amortization expense in 2019 as a result of a full year of amortization from the Power Rangers Acquisition in 2018.
2018 versus 2017
International segment operating profit decreased to $39.5 million in 2018 compared to $228.7 million in 2017 and included pre-tax charges of $7.6 million related to the 2018 Toys“R”Us liquidation. In addition, International operating profit included an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange of $10.9 million. Operating profit margin decreased to 2.1% in 2018 from 10.2% in 2017. The decrease in operating profit and operating profit margin, as reported, is primarily due to increased expenses and lost sales related to the Toys“R”Us liquidation in many European and Asia Pacific markets. The remaining decline was driven by increased obsolescence charges related to efforts to clear excess inventory in a challenging retail environment in Europe, partially offset by lower royalty expenses as the result of lower sales of Partner brand products and lower advertising costs in 2018.
Entertainment, Licensing and Digital
2019 versus 2018
Entertainment and Licensing segment operating profit increased $70.6 million to $99.7 million in 2019 compared to $29.1 million in 2018. Operating profit margin increased to 22.9% of net revenues in 2019 compared to 8.2% in 2018. Absent the impact of an $86.3 million goodwill impairment charge related to Backflip Studios on 2018 operating profit, operating profit in 2019 decreased 14%. This decrease was primarily due to higher program production expense and amortization costs, as well as increased development and administrative costs for MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA and other future digital gaming initiatives during 2019.
2018 versus 2017
Entertainment and Licensing segment operating profit declined to $29.1 million in 2018 compared to $82.4 million in 2017. Operating profit margin decreased to 8.2% of net revenues in 2018 compared to 25.3% in 2017. The overall decrease in operating profit and operating profit margin in the segment was primarily due to an $86.3 million goodwill impairment charge recorded in the fourth quarter related to Backflip Studios. In addition, contributing to the decrease in 2018 were higher programming amortization costs primarily related to MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, and higher advertising and development costs related to MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA, partially offset by lower royalty expenses in 2018.
Other Segments and Corporate and Eliminations
In the Global Operations segment, the operating loss was $7.2 million in 2019 compared to an operating loss of $8.4 million in 2018 and operating profit of $4.0 million in 2017.
In Corporate and eliminations, operating profit was $36.9 million in 2019 compared to an operating loss of $99.3 million in 2018 and $28.7 million in 2017. Operating profit in 2019 includes certain transaction costs of $17.8 million associated with the eOne acquisition. Operating losses in 2018 includes impairment charges of $31.3 million, severance charges of $89.3 million and Toys“R”Us related costs of $7.0 million.
OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES
The Company’s operating expenses, stated as percentages of net revenues, are illustrated below for the fiscal years ended December 29, 2019, December 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017:
Cost of sales
Amortization of intangibles
Program production cost amortization
Selling, distribution and administration
Operating expenses for 2019, 2018 and 2017 include benefits and expenses related to the following events:
During 2019, the Company incurred acquisition costs related to eOne of $17.8 million within administrative expenses in the Corporate and Eliminations segment.
During 2018, the Company recognized charges of $60.4 million consisting of incremental bad debt expense on outstanding Toys“R”Us receivables, royalty expense, inventory obsolescence as well as other costs related to the Toys“R”Us bankruptcy.
During 2018, the Company incurred $89.3 million of severance charges, related to the 2018 restructuring program. These charges were recorded within selling, distribution and administration ("SD&A") expenses and included in Corporate and Eliminations.
During 2018, the Company recorded $117.6 million in goodwill impairment and other intangible asset impairment charges, all within administrative expenses in the Entertainment, Licensing & Digital segment and the Corporate and Eliminations segment.
During 2017 the Company recorded incremental bad debt expenses of $18.0 million within SD&A, related to the bankruptcy filings by Toys“R”Us in the U.S. and Canada.
Cost of Sales
Cost of sales primarily consists of purchased materials, labor, manufacturing overhead and other inventory-related costs such as obsolescence. Cost of sales decreased 2% to $1,807.8 million, or 38.3% of net revenues, for the year ended December 29, 2019 compared to $1,850.7 million, or 40.4% of net revenues, for the year ended December 30, 2018. The cost of sales decrease in dollars and as a percent of net revenues was driven by favorable product mix from higher Entertainment, Licensing and Digital revenues combined with higher Partner Brand products, such as DISNEY FROZEN, MARVEL and STAR WARS, and additional savings related to favorable obsolescence expense and sales allowances. These savings were partially offset by increased costs to bring products into the U.S. during 2019.
In 2018, cost of sales decreased 9% to $1,850.7 million, or 40.4% of net revenues, for the year ended December 30, 2018 compared to $2,033.7 million, or 39.0% of net revenues, for the year ended December 31, 2017. Cost of sales in 2018 included obsolescence charges related to Toys“R”Us of $3.2 million. Cost of sales decreased in dollars primarily due to lower sales volumes compared to 2017. Increased cost of sales as a percent of net revenues reflects the mix of products sold, higher sales allowances and obsolescence charges as well as higher levels of closeout sales in 2018.
Royalty expense of $414.5 million, or 8.8% or net revenues, in 2019 compared to $351.7 million, or 7.7% of net revenues, in 2018 and $405.5 million, or 7.8% of net revenues, in 2017. Fluctuations in royalty expense generally relate to the volume of entertainment-driven products sold in a given period, especially if the Company is selling product tied to one or more major motion picture releases in the period. Product lines related to Hasbro-owned or controlled brands supported by entertainment generally do not incur the same level of royalty expense as licensed properties, particularly DISNEY FROZEN, STAR WARS and MARVEL, as well as DREAMWORKS and BEYBLADE products and certain other licensed properties which carry higher royalty rates than other licensed properties.
Higher royalty expense in dollars and as a percentage of net revenues in 2019 compared to 2018, reflects higher revenues from Partner Brand products as well as the mix of entertainment-driven product sold. In particular, higher royalty expense in 2019 reflects the higher net sales of DISNEY FROZEN and MARVEL products, and to a lesser extent, higher net sales of DISNEY'S DESCENDANTS and STAR WARS products. Lower royalty expense in dollars and as a percentage of net revenues in 2018 compared to 2017, reflects the mix of entertainment-driven product sold. In particular, lower net sales of STAR WARS and DREAMWORKS’ TROLLS products as well as lower net sales of DISNEY PRINCESS and DISNEY FROZEN products were partially offset by higher net sales of BEYBLADE and MARVEL products in 2018. These decreases were partially offset by accelerated royalty charges incurred as a result of the loss of Toys“R”Us product sales in 2018.
Product development expense in 2019 totaled $262.2 million, or 5.6% of net revenues, compared to $246.2 million, or 5.4% of net revenues, in 2018. Product development expenditures reflect the Company’s investment in innovation and anticipated growth across our brand portfolio in both Franchise and Partner Brands. In dollars, the increase in product development expense was the result of increased investments in digital gaming, most notably, to MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA, which launched out of open beta in the third quarter of 2019, and other digital gaming initiatives. As a percentage of net revenues, product development was consistent with 2018.
Product development expense in 2018 totaled $246.2 million, or 5.4% of net revenues, compared to $269.0 million, or 5.2% of net revenues, in 2017. The decline in dollars was partially the result of the capitalization of certain costs related to MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA in 2018 as it progressed through the development cycle and was launched in open beta format, as compared to costs that were expensed in 2017, when the game was in its earlier stages of development. The remaining decline was due to reduced spending resulting from the lower revenue base in 2018. As a percentage of net revenues, product development was consistent with 2017.
Advertising expense in 2019 totaled $413.7 million, or 8.8% of net revenues compared to $439.9 million or 9.6% of net revenues in 2018 and $501.8 million or 9.6% in 2017. The level of the Company’s advertising expense is generally impacted by revenue mix, the amount and type of theatrical releases and television programming. The decrease in dollars and as a percentage of net revenues in 2019 was related to higher entertainment backed revenues which require lower advertising expense combined with greater efficiency in advertising programs.
In 2018, advertising as a percentage of net revenues was consistent with 2017 at 9.6% of net revenues.
Amortization of Intangible Assets
Amortization of intangible assets totaled $47.3 million, or 1.0% of net revenues, in 2019 compared to $28.7 million, or 0.6% of net revenues, in 2018 and $28.8 million, or 0.6% of net revenues in 2017. The increase in amortization of intangible assets in both dollars, and as a percent of net revenues reflects amortization related to the POWER RANGERS property rights acquired during the second quarter of 2018 as well as other licensed property rights, which began amortizing in 2019.
In 2018, amortization of intangible assets in dollars and as a percent of net revenues was consistent with 2017 and reflects the full amortization of property rights related to Backflip and other intangible assets during the first half of 2017, offset by the increase in intangible asset amortization related to the acquisition of the POWER RANGERS brand in 2018.
Program Production Cost Amortization
Program production cost amortization totaled $85.6 million, or 1.8% of net revenues in 2019, compared to $43.9 million, or 1.0% of net revenues, in 2018 and $35.8 million, or 0.7% of net revenues, in 2017. Program production costs are capitalized as incurred and amortized using the individual-film-forecast method. Program production cost amortization reflects the phasing of revenues associated with films and television programming as well as the type of television programs produced and distributed. The increase in dollars and as a percent of net revenues in 2019 compared to 2018 reflects amortization of production expenses attributable to certain film production assets, most notably TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE, partially offset by lower amortization of production expenses related to MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE in 2019.
Program production cost amortization increased in dollars and as a percent of net revenues in 2018 compared to 2017 reflecting amortization of production expenses related to MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE which
was released during the fourth quarter of 2017, as well as higher television programming amortization related to a multi-year, digital distribution agreement for Hasbro television programing, entered during 2018.
Selling, Distribution and Administration Expenses
Selling, distribution and administration expenses were $1,037.1 million, or 22.0% of net revenues, in 2019 compared to $1,287.6 million, or 28.1% of net revenues, in 2018. SD&A expenses in 2019 includes $17.8 million of transaction expenses related to the eOne acquisition while 2018 administrative expenses include the $117.6 million in goodwill impairment and other intangible asset charges, $89.3 million of severance charges, and $50.2 million of incremental expenses related to the Toys"R"Us bankruptcy. Absent these charges, the remaining decrease reflects lower spending due to the Company’s cost-reduction efforts and lower compensation expense. These decreases were partially offset by increased expenses related to opening a new Midwestern U.S. warehouse and higher domestic shipping and warehousing costs to support higher sales. In addition, the Company incurred higher selling and administrative costs in support of the Company’s Wizards of the Coast business.
SD&A expenses were $1,287.6 million, or 28.1% of net revenues, in 2018 compared to $1,124.8 million, or 21.6% of net revenues, in 2017. SD&A expenses in 2018 included the charges noted above. Absent these charges, the decrease in dollars reflects lower spending due to the Company’s cost-reduction efforts, lower incentive compensation expense in 2018 and lower marketing and selling costs due to lower revenues.
NON-OPERATING (INCOME) EXPENSE
Interest expense totaled $101.9 million in 2019 compared to $90.8 million in 2018 and $98.3 million in 2017. During November 2019, the Company issued an aggregate of $2.4 billion of senior unsecured debt securities in connection with the financing of the acquisition of eOne. The increase in interest expense in 2019 reflects interest related to these notes, which was partially offset by lower average short-term borrowings through the majority of 2019. The decrease in interest expense in 2018 reflects the impact of the Company’s refinancing of debt in 2017. During the third quarter of 2017, the Company refinanced $350 million of 6.3% notes that matured in September 2017 by issuing $500 million of 3.5% notes due in 2027. This action, combined with lower average short-term borrowings in 2018, resulted in lower interest expense in 2018 when compared to 2017.
Interest income was $30.1 million in 2019 compared to $22.4 million in 2018 and $22.2 million in 2017. The Company had higher cash balances driven by the long-term debt and equity financings completed in November 2019 that resulted in proceeds of approximately $3.3 billion which were used in the December 30, 2019 acquisition of eOne. The higher levels of cash on hand in 2019 combined with higher average interest rates in 2019 and 2018 drove the increase in interest income.
Other (Income) Expense, Net
Other (income) expense, net was $(13.9) million, $(7.8) million and $(51.9) million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The following table outlines major contributors to other (income) expense, net, expressed in millions of dollars.
Foreign currency (gains) losses
Earnings from Discovery Family Channel
Discovery tax sharing agreement revaluation
eOne deferred financing costs
Gain on sale of certain investments
Foreign currency gains in 2019 reflect realized and unrealized gains of approximately $114.1 million on the foreign exchange forward and option contracts entered to hedge a portion of the British pound sterling purchase price in relation to the eOne acquisition. Foreign currency losses in 2018 compared to foreign
currency gains in 2017 reflects the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against certain currencies, primarily in Latin American and European markets.
Earnings from the Discovery joint venture are comprised of the Company’s share in the results of the Network.
In relation to their joint venture, Hasbro and Discovery are party to a tax sharing agreement. Due to a change in tax law, the liability representing future payments was revalued to reflect the lower future U.S. corporate tax rate beginning in 2018, which resulted in a $19.9 million gain in 2017.
As a result of the adoption of Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-07 (ASU 2017-07), Compensation – Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost in 2018, non-service cost components of pension expense previously recorded to operating expense, are now recorded to other expense.
During 2019, the Company incurred $111.0 million of settlement charges related to the termination of its U.S. defined benefit pension plan which is reflected as a non-cash charge to pension expense.
During 2019, the Company incurred costs associated with the financing of the eOne transaction. With the termination of the bridge facility, the Company wrote off the associated financing costs in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The 2019, 2018 and 2017 gain on investments primarily reflects proceeds from the sale of certain long-term investments sold during the year.
In relation to their joint venture, Discovery owns an option to purchase Hasbro’s share of the Discovery Family Channel. The option’s fair value is periodically re-measured and represents a $1.3 million gain in 2019, a $0.5 million gain in 2018 and a $4.8 million gain in 2017 (included in other in the table above) due to the option’s value decrease.
Income tax expense totaled 12.4% of pre-tax earnings in 2019 compared with 18.5% in 2018 and 49.6% in 2017. Our effective tax rate is affected by recurring items, such as tax rates in foreign jurisdictions and the relative amounts of income we earn in those jurisdictions. It is also affected by discrete items that may occur in any given year but are not consistent from year to year. Income tax expense for 2019 includes a net discrete tax benefit of $33.5 million primarily relating to the settlement of the U.S. defined benefit pension plan liability and the acquisition of eOne, specifically the nontaxable integrated hedging gains and nondeductible transaction costs. Income tax expense for 2018 includes a discrete net tax expense of $40.7 million relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) and net tax benefits of approximately $50.0 million primarily due to reassessment of prior period tax positions and excess tax benefits relating to share-based compensation. Income tax expense for 2017 includes discrete net tax expense of $316.4 million relating to the Tax Act and net tax benefits of approximately $82.0 million primarily due to reassessment of prior period tax positions, a repatriation of earnings resulting in a foreign tax credit benefit, and excess tax benefits relating to share-based compensation.
As a result of the Tax Act, the Company intends to repatriate substantially all of the accumulated foreign earnings as needed from time to time. The Company still has significant cash needs outside the United States and continues to consistently monitor and analyze its global working capital and cash requirements. However, the Tax Act gives the Company flexibility to manage cash globally. In 2019, the Company recorded $1.7 million of foreign withholding and U.S. state taxes that will be incurred due to future cash distributions. The Company will continue to record additional tax effects, if any, in the period that the on-going distribution analysis is completed and is able to make reasonable estimates.
NEW ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update 2016-02 (ASU 2016-02), Leases (Topic 842), which requires lessees to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for virtually all leases. The liability is based on the present value of lease payments and the asset is based on the liability. For income statement purposes, a dual model was retained requiring leases to be either classified as operating or finance. Operating leases result in straight-line expense while finance leases result in a front-loaded expense pattern. Certain other quantitative and qualitative disclosures are also required. ASU 2016-02 was required for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. ASU 2016-02 as originally issued required modified retrospective adoption. In July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, which provided an alternative transition method in addition to the existing method by allowing entities to apply ASU 2016-02 as of the adoption
date and recognize a cumulative effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption. The Company adopted ASU-2016-02 on December 31, 2018 using the retrospective basis as provided in ASU 2018-11. No cumulative effect was recorded to retained earnings in the period of adoption. The Company also elected certain practical expedients as provided under the standard. These included (i) the election not to reassess whether contracts existing at the adoption date contain a lease under the new definition of a lease under the standard; (ii) the election not to reassess the lease classification for existing leases as of the adoption date; (iii) the election not to reassess whether previously capitalized initial direct costs would qualify for capitalization under the standard; (iv) the election to use hindsight in determining the relevant lease terms for use in the capitalization of the lease liability; and (v) the election to use hindsight in reviewing the right-of-use assets for impairment. For all leases, the terms were evaluated, including extension and renewal options as well as the lease payments associated with the leases. As a result of the adoption of the standard in the first quarter of 2019, the Company recorded right-of-use assets of $121.2 million and lease liabilities of $139.5 million. The Company’s results of operations were not impacted by this standard. The adoption of this standard did not have an impact on the Company’s cash flows. For further details, see Note 16 to the consolidated financial statements which are included in Part II Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
In January 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-01 (ASU 2017-01), Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business. The standard clarifies the definition of a business with the objective of providing guidance when evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses. For public companies, the standard was effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. The Company adopted the standard in the second quarter of 2018.
In August 2017, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-12 (ASU 2017-12), Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities. The amendments expand and refine hedge accounting for both nonfinancial and financial risk components and align the recognition and presentation of the effects of the hedging instrument and the underlying hedged item in the financial statements. The impact of the standard includes elimination of the requirement to separately measure and recognize hedge ineffectiveness and requires the presentation of fair value adjustments to hedging instruments to be included in the same income statement line as the hedged item. For public companies, this standard was effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and early adoption is permitted. The Company adopted the standard in the first quarter of 2019 and the adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
In June 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13 (ASU 2016-13) Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326) – Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. The amendments in this update provide financial statement users with more decision-useful information about the expected credit losses on financial instruments and other commitments to extend credit held by a reporting entity at each reporting date. The standard update replaces the incurred loss impairment methodology with a methodology that reflects expected credit losses and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to inform credit loss estimates. For public companies, this standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, and early adoption is permitted. The Company has evaluated the requirements of ASU 2016-13 and currently does not expect the standard to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In August 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-13 (ASU 2018-13), Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework – Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. The amendments in this update modify the disclosure requirements on fair value measurements in Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement, specifically related to disclosures surrounding Level 3 asset balances, fair value measurement methods, related gains and losses and fair value hierarchy transfers. For public companies, this standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, and early adoption is permitted. The Company has evaluated ASU 2018-13 and does not expect the standard to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In August 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-14 (ASU 2018-14) Compensation – Retirement Benefits – Defined Benefit Plans – General (Subtopic 715-20)- Disclosure Framework – Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans. The amendments in this update modify the disclosure requirements for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension or other postretirement plans. For public companies, this standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2020, and early
adoption is permitted. The standard relates to financial statement disclosure only and will not have an impact on the Company's statement of financial position, statement of operations or statement of cash flows.
In March 2019, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2019-02 (ASU 2019-02) Entertainment-Films-Other Assets-Film Costs (Subtopic 926-20) and Entertainment-Broadcasters-Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (Subtopic 920-350) – Improvements to Accounting for Costs of Films and License Agreements for Program Materials. The amendments in this update align cost capitalization of episodic television series production costs with that of film production cost capitalization. In addition, this update addresses impairment testing procedures with regard to film groups, when a film or license agreement is expected to be monetized with other films and/or license agreements. The intention of this update is to align accounting treatment with changes in production and distribution models within the entertainment industry and to provide increased transparency of information provided to users of financial statements about produced and licensed content. For public companies, this standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, and early adoption is permitted. The Company has evaluated the standard and does not expect the standard to materially impact its consolidated financial statements.
Pension Plan Termination
In February 2018, the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors approved a resolution to terminate the Company’s U.S. defined benefit pension plan (the “Plan”). During the first quarter of 2018 the Company commenced the U.S. Pension Plan termination process and received regulatory approval during the fourth quarter of 2018. During the second quarter of 2019, the Company settled all remaining benefits directly with vested participants electing a lump sum payout, and purchased a group annuity contract from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company to administer all future payments to remaining U.S. Pension Plan participants. The U.S. Pension Plan's net funded asset position was sufficient to cover the lump sum payments and the purchase of the group annuity contract and settle all other remaining benefit obligations with no additional cost to the Company. After the settlement of the benefit obligations and payment of expenses, the Company had excess assets in the U.S. Pension Plan of approximately $20.2 million. The Company elected to utilize the remaining surplus after payment of administrative expenses for the Company's future matching contributions under the Company's 401(k) plan. Upon settlement of the pension liability, the Company recognized a non-operating settlement charge of $110.8 million, in May 2019, and an additional settlement charge of $0.2 million in December 2019, related to pension losses, reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive loss to other (income) expense in the Company's consolidated statements of operations, adjusted for market conditions and settlement costs at benefit distribution.
For further discussion on the Company's Plan termination, see note 15 to our consolidated financial statements, which are included in Part II, Item 8 of this Form10-K.
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (“UK”) voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (“EU”), commonly referred to as Brexit. The UK government triggered the formal two-year period to negotiate the terms of the UK’s exit on March 29, 2017. These events resulted in an immediate weakening of British pound sterling against the US dollar, and increased volatility in the foreign currency markets which continued through 2019. These fluctuations initially affected Hasbro’s financial results, although the impact was partially mitigated by the Company’s hedging strategy. On January 31, 2020, the UK formally withdrew from the EU, entering a transitional period which is currently expected to end on December 31, 2020. During this transitional period, EU law will continue to apply in the UK while providing time for the UK and EU to negotiate the details of their future relationship. Financial, trade and legal implications of the UK leaving the EU remain uncertain. The Company continues to closely monitor the negotiations and the impact to foreign currency markets, taking appropriate actions to support the Company’s long-term strategy and to mitigate risks in its operational and financial activities. However, the Company cannot predict the direction of Brexit-related developments nor the impact of those developments on our European operations and the economies of the markets in which they operate.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
The Company has historically generated a significant amount of cash from operations. In 2019, the Company funded its operations and liquidity needs through available cash and from cash flows from operations. In addition, during 2019 the Company issued debt and equity securities to finance its acquisition of eOne which was consummated on December 30, 2019, following the close of the Company's fiscal year-end.
During 2020, the Company expects to continue to fund its working capital needs primarily through available cash and cash flows from operations and, when needed, by issuing commercial paper or borrowing under its revolving credit agreement. In the event that the Company is not able to issue commercial paper, the Company intends to utilize its available lines of credit. With the acquisition of eOne the Company expects to use production financing to finance certain of eOne's productions in 2020. The Company believes that the funds available to it, including cash expected to be generated from operations and funds available through its commercial paper program or its available lines of credit as well as production financing, are adequate to meet its working capital needs for 2020. The Company may also issue debt or equity securities from time to time, to provide additional sources of liquidity when pursuing opportunities to enhance our long-term competitive position, while maintaining a strong balance sheet. However, unexpected events or circumstances such as material operating losses or increased capital or other expenditures, or the inability to otherwise access the commercial paper market, may reduce or eliminate the availability of external financial resources. In addition, significant disruptions to credit markets may also reduce or eliminate the availability of external financial resources. Although the Company believes the risk of nonperformance by the counterparties to its financial facilities is not significant, in times of severe economic downturn in the credit markets it is possible that one or more sources of external financing may be unable or unwilling to provide funding to the Company.
During November of 2019, in conjunction with the Company's acquisition of eOne, the Company issued an aggregate of $2.4 billion of senior unsecured debt securities (collectively, the "Notes") consisting of the following tranches: $300 million of notes due 2022 (the "2022 Notes") that bear interest at a fixed rate of 2.60%; $500 million of notes due 2024 (the "2024 Notes") that bear interest at a fixed rate of 3.00%; $675 million of notes due 2026 (the "2026 Notes") that bear interest at a fixed rate of 3.55%; and $900 million of notes due 2029 (the "2029 Notes") that bear interest at a fixed rate of 3.90%. The interest rate payable on each series of the notes will be subject to adjustment from time to time if either Moody’s or S&P (or a substitute rating agency therefor) downgrades (or downgrades and subsequently upgrades) the credit rating assigned to the Notes. Underwriting discount and fees of $20.0 million were deducted from the gross proceeds of the Notes. These costs are being amortized over the life of the Notes, which range from three to ten years. Prior to October 19, 2024 (in the case of the 2024 Notes), September 19, 2026 (in the case of the 2026 Notes), August 19, 2029 (in the case of the 2029 Notes) and at any time (in the case of the 2022 Notes), the Company may redeem the Notes at its option at the greater of the principal amount of the Notes or the present value of the remaining scheduled payments discounted using the effective interest rate on applicable U.S. Treasury bills at the time of repurchase, plus (1) 15 basis points (in the case of the 2022 Notes); (2) 25 basis points (in the case of the 2024 Notes); (3) 30 basis points (in the case of the 2026 Notes); and (4) 35 basis points (in the case of the 2029 Notes). In addition, on and after (1) October 19, 2024 for the 2024 Notes; (2) September 19, 2026 for the 2026 Notes; and (3) August 19, 2029 for the 2029 Notes, such series of Notes will be redeemable, in whole at any time or in part from time to time, at the Company's option at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed plus accrued and unpaid interest.
In November of 2019, the Company completed an underwritten public offering of 10,592,106 shares of common stock, par value $0.50 per share, at a public offering price of $95.00 per share. Net proceeds from this public offering were approximately $975.2 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses of approximately $31.1 million. The net proceeds were used to finance, in part, the acquisition of eOne and to pay related costs and expenses.
In September 2017, the Company issued $500.0 million in principal amount of notes due 2027 (the "2027 Notes") that bear interest at a rate of 3.50%. Net proceeds of the 2027 Notes offering, after deduction of the underwriting discount and debt issuance expenses, totaled approximately $493.9 million. The Company may redeem the 2027 Notes at its option at the greater of the principal amount of the 2027 Notes or the present value of the remaining scheduled payments using the effective interest rate on applicable U.S. Treasury bills plus 25 basis points. In addition, on or after June 15, 2027, the Company may redeem at its option, any portion of the 2027 Notes at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the notes to be redeemed. The proceeds from the issuance of the 2027 Notes were used, primarily, to repay $350 million aggregate principal amount of the 6.30% notes due 2017 upon maturity, including accrued and unpaid interest. The remaining net proceeds were utilized for general corporate and working capital purposes.
As of December 29, 2019, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $4,580.4 million, which is higher than prior year due to additional cash on hand from the debt and equity financings completed in anticipation of the eOne transaction. Prior to 2017, deferred income taxes had not been provided on the majority of undistributed earnings of international subsidiaries as such earnings were indefinitely reinvested by the Company. Accordingly, such international cash balances were not available to fund cash requirements in the United States unless the Company was to change its reinvestment policy. The Company has maintained sufficient sources of cash in the United States to fund cash requirements without the need to repatriate any funds. The Tax Act provided significant
changes to the U.S. tax system including the elimination of the ability to defer U.S. income tax on unrepatriated earnings by imposing a one-time mandatory deemed repatriation tax on undistributed foreign earnings. As of December 29, 2019, the remaining long-term payable related to the Tax Act of $174.5 million is presented within other liabilities, non-current on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. As permitted by the Tax Act, the Company will pay the transition tax in annual interest-free installments through 2025. As a result, in the future, the related earnings in foreign jurisdictions will be made available with greater investment flexibility. The majority of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents held outside of the United States as of December 29, 2019 is denominated in the U.S. dollar.
The table below outlines key financial information pertaining to our consolidated balance sheets including the year-over-year changes, expressed in millions of dollars.
Cash and cash equivalents, net of short-term borrowings
Accounts receivable, net
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities
Accounts receivable, net increased 19% in 2019 compared to 2018. Foreign currency translation did not have a significant impact on account receivable balances in 2019. Days sales outstanding increased to 90 days at December 29, 2019 from 78 days at December 30, 2018. The days sales outstanding increase was the result of higher sales in jurisdictions with longer payment terms as well as the timing of shipments during the fourth quarter of 2019. Accounts receivable, net decreased 15% in 2018 compared to 2017. Excluding the favorable foreign currency translation of $51.9 million, accounts receivable, net, decreased 12%, in line with 2018 net revenue declines, excluding favorable foreign currency translation compared to 2017. Days sales outstanding decreased to 78 days at December 30, 2018 from 80 days at December 31, 2017. Absent the impact of 2017 Toys“R”Us pre-bankruptcy receivables, days sales outstanding at December 30, 2018 were consistent with December 31, 2017.
Inventories increased 1% at the end of 2019 compared to 2018. Foreign currency translation did not have a significant impact on 2019 inventory balances. The Company continues to work to improve inventory management with a focus on ensuring we have the right levels of inventory in new and growing brands. Inventories increased 2% at the end of 2018 compared to 2017. Excluding the unfavorable foreign currency impact of $20.2 million, inventories increased 7% in 2018 compared to 2017. The increase in inventories, excluding the impact of foreign exchange, is due in part to sales declines as well as new markets, partially offset by reduced inventory levels in Europe and higher inventory obsolescence in 2018.
Prepaid expenses and other current assets increased 16% in 2019 compared to 2018. The increase was due to higher unrealized gains on foreign exchange contracts, including $34.1 million of unrealized gains from hedges in relation to the eOne acquisition purchase price and other related transaction costs. In addition, the increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets was due to higher accrued and prepaid royalty and licensing balances in 2019. As a result of the settlement of the Company's U.S. defined benefit pension plan liability, the Company had excess assets of approximately $20.2 million of which $8.6 million is recorded as a current asset and will be used to fund future Company contributions to the Company's 401(k) plan in the U.S. These increases were partially offset by lower prepaid tax balances. Prepaid expenses and other current assets increased 26% in 2018 compared to 2017. The increase was related to higher unrealized gains on foreign exchange contracts, higher accrued tax credits related to certain television and movie production costs, higher prepaid income tax balances as a result of lower taxable earnings in relation to 2018 estimated tax payments and higher accrued royalty income related to the adoption of ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASC-606).
Other assets decreased 21% in 2019 compared to 2018. Lower balances in 2019 include: lower deferred tax asset balances as a result of a reclassification of certain deferred tax assets to reduce the Company's transition tax liability, lower long-term receivable balances related to third-party production studio rebates, lower capitalized movie production costs as a result of higher amortization of certain production assets during 2019, as well as decreases in non-current royalty advance balances. These decreases were partially offset by the pension surplus as a result of the settlement of the Company's U.S. defined benefit pension plan liability during 2019, of which approximately $11.6 million is recorded in other assets and higher long-term contract assets balances in 2019. Other assets increased 23% in 2018 compared to 2017. Higher balances in 2018 include: increased deferred tax asset balances
related to tax benefits derived from intercompany dividends, higher capitalized movie and television production costs, net of related production rebates, primarily related to the Company’s share of costs related to BUMBLEBEE, the theatrical release produced jointly with Paramount Pictures, and released in December of 2018, higher long-term receivable balances related to the long-term portion of a multi-year digital distribution agreement for Hasbro television programming as well as higher accrued royalty income as a result of the adoption of the ASU 2014-09 in 2018. These increases were partially offset by lower long-term royalty advances and payments received from Cartamundi in relation to a long-term note receivable related to the sale of the Company’s manufacturing operations in August 2015.
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities were essentially flat in 2019 compared to 2018. Increases included higher accrued royalty balances as a result of higher sales of partner brand products, higher accrued incentive compensation balances, the Company’s current lease liability balance of $30.7 million included in accrued liabilities as the result of the adoption of ASU 2016-02, higher accrued dividends resulting from the higher level of shares outstanding and the higher dividend rate, and higher accrued interest as a result of higher debt levels in 2019 from the issuance of notes in November 2019. These increases were primarily offset by the payment of remaining amounts due to Saban Properties for the POWER RANGERS brand acquisition and lower severance accruals from payments made in relation to restructuring actions taken in 2018. Accounts payable and accrued liabilities increased 15% in 2018 compared to 2017. Increases included higher accrued liabilities related to the remaining amounts due for the POWER RANGERS acquisition, increased severance charges related to the Company’s 2018 restructuring program, higher deferred revenue balances primarily related to the launch of the online version of MAGIC: THE GATHERING, higher accrued tax balances related to value added taxes, primarily in Europe and Mexico and higher accrued dividends due to a higher dividend rate announced for 2019. These increases were partially offset by lower accrued incentive compensation balances as a result of the decline in company performance in 2018, lower accrued income tax balances as a result of lower earnings in 2018 and a lower liability for foreign currency forward contracts as the result of a strengthening U.S. dollar against certain foreign currencies in 2018.
Other liabilities increased 3% in 2019 compared to 2018. The increase is primarily due to the adoption of ASU 2016-02 in 2019 which requires the recognition of long-term lease liability balances, which were $113.4 million at December 29, 2019, partially offset by a decrease in the transition tax liability reflecting the reclassification of certain deferred tax assets to reduce the transition tax liability as well as the reclassification of the 2020 installment payment, and the elimination of deferred rent balances which were netted with their corresponding right of use assets as a result of the adoption of ASU 2016-02 in 2019. Other liabilities increased 5% in 2018 compared to 2017. The increase is due to the $258.7 million long-term portion of the repatriation tax liability related to U.S. Tax Reform passed in the fourth quarter of 2017. In addition, the Company’s first quarter 2018 decision to terminate its U.S. defined benefit pension plan resulted in an increase to other liabilities due to remeasurement of the plans projected benefit obligation, in relation to expected termination costs. These increases were partially offset by lower long-term balances related to foreign exchange contracts, lower balances related to accrued compensation for non-employee members of the Company’s Board of Directors due to payments made in 2018 and lower liabilities reflecting changes in management judgment with respect to uncertain tax positions.
The following table summarizes the changes in the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows, expressed in millions of dollars, for each of the years ended on December 29, 2019, December 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017.
Net cash provided by (used in)
In 2019, 2018 and 2017, Hasbro generated $653.1 million, $646.0 million and $724.4 million of cash from its operating activities, respectively. Operating cash flows in 2019, 2018 and 2017 included $33.9 million, $132.0 million and $48.0 million, respectively, of cash used for television program and film production. The increase in operating cash flows in 2019 compared to 2018 primarily reflects higher earnings offset by higher levels of accounts receivable at December 2019. The decrease in operating cash flows in 2018 compared to 2017 reflects
lower earnings as well as higher film production costs in 2018 related to the production of the BUMBLEBEE film, released in December 2018.
Cash flows utilized by investing activities were $61.0 million, $286.5 million and $131.5 million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Additions to property, plant and equipment decreased in 2019 to $133.6 million from $140.4 million and $134.9 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Of these additions, 54% in 2019, 58% in 2018 and 59% in 2017 were for purchases of tools, dies and molds related to the Company’s products. During the fiscal years ended December 29, 2019, December 30, 2018 and December 31, 2017, the depreciation of plant and equipment was $133.5 million, $139.3 million and $143.0 million, respectively. Fluctuations in depreciation of plant and equipment correlate with the percentage of additions to property, plant and equipment relating to tools, dies and molds which have shorter useful lives and accelerated depreciation. Excluding capital expenditures, 2019 cash utilized for investing activities reflects a cash payment net of cash acquired of $8.8 million related to the acquisition of Tuque in October of 2019 as well as offsetting realized gains of $80.0 million from hedges in relation to the Company's exposure to fluctuations in the British pound sterling associated with the eOne acquisition purchase price and other transaction related costs. The Company's 2019 investing activities also included $6.4 million received from the installment note relating to the sale of the Company’s manufacturing operations in 2015. Excluding capital expenditures, 2018 cash utilized for investing activities reflects cash payments of $155.5 million related to the acquisition of POWER RANGERS during the second quarter of 2018, partially offset by $6.4 million received on the installment note described above.
Net cash provided (utilized) by financing activities was $2,810.6 million, ($737.1) million, and ($312.2) million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Financing activities associated with the Company's acquisition of eOne in 2019 include:
Net proceeds of $2,355.0 million from the November 2019 issuance of an aggregate of $2,375.0 million of senior unsecured long-term debt securities consisting of the following tranches: $300.0 million 2.60% notes due 2022; $500.0 million 3.00% notes due 2024; $675.0 million 3.55% notes due 2026; and $900.0 million 3.90% notes due 2029. The proceeds were net of debt issuance discount and fees of $20.0 million. The proceeds of the long-term debt issuance were used to finance, in part, the acquisition of eOne.
Net proceeds of $975.2 million from the issuance of 10,592,106 shares of common stock, par value $0.50 per share, at a public offering price of $95.00 per share.
Debt acquisition costs of $26.7 million paid in relation to eOne acquisition financing arrangements.
In addition to the amounts above, net cash from 2019 financing activities includes the Company's payment of $100.0 million related to the 2018 POWER RANGERS brand acquisition, which consisted of a $75.0 million deferred purchase price payment and $25.0 million release from escrow. There are no remaining payments due to Saban Properties related to the POWER RANGERS brand acquisition.
Financing activities in 2019, 2018 and 2017, also reflect $61.4 million, $250.1 million, and $151.3 million, respectively, of cash paid, including transaction costs, to repurchase the Company’s Common Stock. During 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Company repurchased 0.7 million, 2.7 million, and 1.6 million shares, respectively, at an average price of $87.41, $94.15, and $94.74, respectively. A portion of the 2018 share repurchases were executed to offset the issuance of 3.1 million shares to Saban Properties included as part of the POWER RANGERS asset acquisition. At December 29, 2019, $366.6 million remained for share repurchases under the May 2018 Board authorization.
Dividends paid were $336.6 million in 2019, $309.3 million in 2018 and $277.0 million in 2017. The Company has increased its quarterly dividend rate from $0.57 in 2017 to $0.63 in 2018 and to $0.68 in 2019. Net repayments of short-term borrowings were $8.8 million, $142.4 million and $18.4 million in in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The Company generated cash from employee stock option transactions of $31.8 million, $30.0 million, and $29.4 million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The Company paid withholding taxes related to share-based compensation of $13.1 million, $58.3 million and $32.0 million in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Financing activities in 2017 include net proceeds of $493.9 million from the September 2017 issuance of $500.0 million 3.50% long-term notes due 2027, net of $6.1 million of debt issuance costs, partially offset by the repayment of $350.0 million 6.30% long-term notes that matured in September 2017.
Sources and Uses of Cash
The Company commits to inventory production, advertising and marketing expenditures prior to the peak fourth quarter retail selling season. Accounts receivable increase during the third and fourth quarter as customers increase their purchases to meet expected consumer demand in their holiday selling season. Due to the concentrated timeframe of this selling period, payments for these accounts receivable are generally not due until the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of the subsequent year. This timing difference between expenditures and cash collections on accounts receivable sometimes makes it necessary for the Company to borrow amounts during the latter part of the year. During 2019 and 2018, the Company primarily used cash from operations and, to a lesser extent, borrowings under available lines of credit to fund its working capital. During 2017, the Company primarily used cash from operations and, to a lesser extent, borrowings under its commercial paper program and available lines of credit to fund its working capital.
The Company has an agreement with a group of banks which provides for a commercial paper program (the “Program”). Under the Program, at the request of the Company and subject to market conditions, the banks may either purchase from the Company, or arrange for the sale by the Company, of unsecured commercial paper notes. The Company may issue notes from time to time up to an aggregate principal amount outstanding at any given time of $1,000.0 million. The maturities of the notes may vary but may not exceed 397 days. The notes are sold under customary terms in the commercial paper market and are issued at a discount to par, or alternatively, sold at par and bear varying interest rates based on a fixed or floating rate basis. The interest rates vary based on market conditions and the ratings assigned to the notes by the credit rating agencies at the time of issuance. Borrowings under the Program are supported by the Company’s revolving credit agreement. The Company had no outstanding borrowings related to the Program at December 29, 2019.
In September of 2019, the Company entered into a $1.0 billion Term Loan Agreement (the "Term Loan Agreement”) with Bank of America N.A. (“Bank of America”), as administrative agent, and certain financial institutions as lenders, pursuant to which such lenders committed to provide, contingent upon the completion of the eOne acquisition and certain other customary conditions to funding, (1) a three-year senior unsecured term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of $400.0 million (the “Three-Year Tranche”) and (2) a five-year senior unsecured term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of $600.0 million (the “Five-Year Tranche” and together with the Three-Year Tranche, the “Term Loan Facilities”). Loans under the Term Loan Facilities will bear interest at the Company’s option, at either the Eurocurrency Rate or the Base Rate, in each case plus a per annum applicable rate that fluctuates (1) in the case of the Three-Year Tranche, between 87.5 basis points and 175.0 basis points, in the case of loans priced at the Eurocurrency Rate, and between 0.0 basis points and 75.0 basis points, in the case of loans priced at the Base Rate, and (2) in the case of the Five-Year Tranche, between 100.0 basis points and 187.5 basis points, in the case of loans priced at the Eurocurrency Rate, and between 0.0 basis points and 87.5 basis points, in the case of loans priced at the Base Rate, in each case, based upon the non-credit enhanced, senior unsecured long-term debt ratings of the Company by Fitch Ratings Inc., Moody’s Investor Service, Inc. and S&P Global Rankings, subject to certain provisions taking into account potential differences in ratings issued to the relevant rating agencies or a lack of ratings issued by such rating agencies. Loans under the Five-Year Tranche will require principal amortization payments that will be payable in equal quarterly installments of 5.0% per annum of the original principal amount thereof for each of the first two years after funding, increasing to 10.0% per annum of the original principal amount thereof for each subsequent year. The Term Loan Agreement contains affirmative and negative covenants typical of this type of facility, including: (i) restrictions on the Company’s and its domestic subsidiaries’ ability to allow liens on their assets, (ii) restrictions on the incurrence of indebtedness, (iii) restrictions on the Company’s and certain of its subsidiaries’ ability to engage in certain mergers, (iv) the requirement that the Company maintain a Consolidated Interest Coverage Ratio of no less than 3.00:1.00 as of the end of any fiscal quarter and (v) the requirement that the Company maintain a Consolidated Total Leverage Ratio of no more than, depending on the gross proceeds of equity securities issued after the Effective Date, 5.65:1.00 or 5.40:1.00 for each of the first, second and third fiscal quarters ended after the funding of the Term Loan Facilities, with periodic step downs to 3.50:1.00 for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2023 and thereafter.
During the third quarter of 2019, the Company entered into a second amended and restated revolving credit agreement with Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and a letter of credit issuer and lender and certain other financial institutions, as lenders thereto (the "Amended Revolving Credit Agreement"), which provides the Company with commitments having a maximum aggregate principal amount of $1,500.0 million, comprised of (1) $1,100.0 million, of commitments effective as of September 20, 2019, and (2) $400.0 million of commitments that became effective upon completion of the acquisition of eOne on December 30, 2019. The Amended Revolving Credit Agreement contains certain financial covenants setting forth leverage and coverage requirements, and certain other limitations typical of an investment grade facility, including with respect to liens, mergers and incurrence of indebtedness. Upon the additional $400.0 million of commitments becoming effective, the Amended Revolving Credit Agreement was extended through September 20, 2024. The Amended Revolving Credit Agreement also provides for a potential additional incremental commitment increase of up to $500.0 million subject to agreement of the lenders. Prior to the September 2019 amendment, the Revolving Credit Agreement provided for a $1,100.0 million revolving credit facility. The Company was in compliance with all covenants as of and for the year ended December 29, 2019. The Company had no borrowings outstanding under its committed revolving credit facility as of December 29, 2019. However, letters of credit outstanding under this facility as of December 29, 2019 were approximately $2.7 million. Amounts available and unused under the committed line at December 29, 2019 were approximately $1,097.3 million, inclusive of borrowings under the Company’s commercial paper program. The Company also has other uncommitted lines from various banks, of which approximately $11.7 million was utilized at December 29, 2019. Of the amount utilized under, or supported by, the uncommitted lines, approximately $0.5 million and $11.2 million represent outstanding short-term borrowings and letters of credit, respectively.
The Company has principal amounts of long-term debt at December 29, 2019 of approximately $4,084.9 million due at varying times from 2021 through 2044. As described above, the Company issued an aggregate of $2,375.0 million of senior unsecured long-term debt securities in November 2019 in connection with the financing of the eOne acquisition. The Company also had letters of credit and other similar instruments of $14.0 million and 2020 purchase commitments of $671.0 million outstanding at December 29, 2019. In 2020, the Company expects capital expenditures to be in the range of $160.0 million to $170.0 million. In addition, the Company expects to be committed to guaranteed royalty payments of approximately $111.0 million in 2020.
On December 30, 2019, the Company completed the acquisition of eOne. The cash transaction was valued at approximately £2.9 billion or $3.8 billion at the December 30, 2019 GBP to USD exchange rate of 1.31. On that date, the Company borrowed the full amount of $1.0 billion under the Term Loan Facilities. In addition, the Company redeemed eOne’s outstanding senior secured notes and paid off the debt outstanding under eOne’s revolving credit facility, which together represented approximately £0.6 billion or approximately $0.8 billion.
Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Estimates
The Company prepares its consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. As such, management is required to make certain estimates, judgments and assumptions that it believes are reasonable based on information available. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses for the periods presented. The significant accounting policies which management believes are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating the Company’s reported financial results include recoverability of goodwill and intangible assets and income taxes. Additionally, the Company identified the valuation of the Company’s equity method investment in Discovery Family Channel as a significant accounting estimate.
Recoverability of Goodwill and Intangible Assets
During the fourth quarter of 2018 the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2017-04 (ASU 2017-04), Intangibles -Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. The standard eliminates the requirement to measure the implied fair value of goodwill by assigning the fair value of a reporting unit to all assets and liabilities within that unit (“the Step 2 test”) from the goodwill impairment test. Instead, if the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess, limited by the amount of goodwill in that reporting unit.
The Company tests goodwill for impairment at least annually. If an event occurs or circumstances change that indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, the Company will perform an interim test at that time. The Company may perform a qualitative assessment and bypass the quantitative impairment testing process if it is not more likely than not that impairment exists.
If it is more likely than not that impairment exists, a quantitative goodwill impairment test is performed. When performing a quantitative impairment test, goodwill is tested for impairment by comparing the carrying value to the estimated fair value of the reporting unit which is calculated using an income approach. Other intangible assets with indefinite lives are tested for impairment by comparing their carrying value to their estimated fair value. During the fourth quarter of 2019, the Company performed a qualitative assessment with respect to certain of its reporting units with goodwill totaling $494.6 million. The Company utilized this approach for all reporting units based on the amount by which historical estimated reporting unit fair values exceeded carrying values. Based on its qualitative assessments, the Company concluded that there was no impairment of goodwill to reporting units tested using the qualitative approach during 2019.
During the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company took a number of actions to react to a rapidly changing mobile gaming industry that resulted in a modification to the Company’s long-term plan for its Backflip business. These modifications included organizational actions and related personnel changes, the extension of launch dates for games currently in or planned for development and the addition of partners for the development of future game releases. The modifications resulted in changes to the long-term projections for the Backflip business which led the Company to conclude the goodwill associated with the Backflip reporting unit was impaired. The goodwill impairment analysis involved comparing the Backflip carrying value to its estimated fair value, which was calculated based on the Income Approach. To calculate the fair value of the future cash flows under the Income Approach, a discount rate of 19% was utilized, representing the reporting unit’s estimated weighted-average cost of capital. Based on the results of the impairment test, the Company determined that the carrying value of the Backflip reporting unit exceeded its estimated fair value. The Company recorded an impairment charge of $86.3 million within administrative expense and in the Company’s Entertainment, Licensing and Digital segment, during the fourth quarter of 2018, which was the full amount of remaining goodwill associated with the Backflip reporting unit. Subsequently, during 2019 the Company made the decision to close the Backflip business.
The estimation of future cash flows utilized in the evaluation of the Company’s goodwill requires significant judgments and estimates with respect to future revenues related to the respective asset and the future cash outlays related to those revenues. Actual revenues and related cash flows or changes in anticipated revenues and related cash flows could result in a change in this assessment and result in an impairment charge. The estimation of discounted cash flows also requires the selection of an appropriate discount rate. The use of different assumptions would increase or decrease estimated discounted cash flows and could increase or decrease the related impairment charge.
Intangible assets, other than those with indefinite lives, are reviewed for indications of impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. There were no triggering events in 2019 which would indicate impairment existed in the Company's intangible assets during 2019.
As part of its assessment of intangible assets in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Company completed impairment testing relating to certain property rights, both owned or related to license agreements. Specifically, the Company reviewed intangible assets recorded in connection with licensed property rights and owned technology. Due to a decline in revenue and revised projections for future revenue, it was determined that the intangible asset carrying values exceeded expected future cash flows, indicating that the intangible asset was impaired, and resulted in a charge of $31.3 million recorded within administrative expense.
The Company’s annual income tax rate is based on its income, statutory tax rates, changes in prior tax positions and tax planning opportunities available in the various jurisdictions in which it operates. Significant judgment and estimates are required to determine the Company’s annual tax rate and evaluate its tax positions. Despite the Company’s belief that its tax return positions are fully supportable, these positions are subject to challenge and estimated liabilities are established in the event that these positions are challenged, and the Company is not successful in defending these challenges. These estimated liabilities, as well as the related interest, are adjusted in light of changing facts and circumstances such as the progress of a tax audit. In addition, on December 22, 2017, the U.S. government enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”). The Tax Act makes broad and complex changes to the U.S. tax code that established new tax laws in 2018, including, but not limited to, reducing the U.S. statutory tax rate from 35% to 21% and creating new taxes on certain foreign-sourced earnings and certain related-party payments.
In May 2019, a public referendum held in Switzerland approved Swiss Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF) proposals previously approved by Swiss Parliament. The Swiss tax reform measures are effective on January 1, 2020. Changes in tax reform include the abolishment of preferential tax regimes for holding companies, domicile companies and mixed companies at the cantonal level. The enacted changes in Swiss federal
tax were not material to the Company's consolidated financial statements. Swiss cantonal tax was enacted in December 2019. Due to the uncertain nature of the cantonal legislation, the Company is still assessing the transitional provision options it may elect; however, the pending legislation is not expected to have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements. We will continue to review TRAF as the Swiss authorities provide additional interpretive guidance on the new law and related transitional methodology.
In certain cases, tax law requires items to be included in the Company’s income tax returns at a different time than when these items are recognized in the consolidated financial statements or at a different amount than that which is recognized in the consolidated financial statements. Some of these differences are permanent, such as expenses that are not deductible on the Company’s tax returns, while other differences are temporary and will reverse over time, such as depreciation expense. These differences that will reverse over time are recorded as deferred tax assets and liabilities on the consolidated balance sheets. Deferred tax assets represent deductions that have been reflected in the consolidated financial statements but have not yet been reflected in the Company’s income tax returns. Valuation allowances are established against deferred tax assets to the extent that it is determined that the Company will have insufficient future taxable income, including capital gains, to fully realize the future deductions or capital losses. Deferred tax liabilities represent expenses recognized on the Company’s income tax return that have not yet been recognized in the Company’s consolidated financial statements or income recognized in the consolidated financial statements that has not yet been recognized in the Company’s income tax return.
Valuation of Equity Method Investment in Discovery Family Channel
The Company owns an interest in a joint venture, Discovery Family Channel (“the Network”), with Discovery Communications, Inc. (“Discovery”). The Company has determined that it does not meet the control requirements to consolidate the Network and accounts for the investment using the equity method of accounting. The Network was established to create a cable television network in the United States dedicated to high-quality children’s and family entertainment. In October 2009, the Company purchased an initial 50% share in the Network for a payment of $300 million and certain future tax payments based on the value of certain tax benefits expected to be received by the Company. In September 2014, the Company and Discovery amended their relationship with respect to the Network and Discovery increased its equity interest in the Network to 60% while the Company retained a 40% equity interest in the Network.
The Company tests its equity method investment in the Network for impairment annually. If an event occurs or circumstances change that indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, the Company will perform an interim test at that time. The Company’s valuation of its equity method investment in the Network includes assumptions surrounding forecasted revenue and expenses, a discount rate and a terminal growth rate, which are used to estimate the fair value of the investment and involve a high degree of subjectivity given the volatility in consumer interest when choosing entertainment media.
Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments
In the normal course of its business, the Company enters into contracts related to obtaining rights to produce products under license, which may require the payment of minimum guarantees, as well as contracts related to the leasing of facilities and equipment. In addition, the Company has $4,084.9 million in principal amount of long-term debt outstanding at December 29, 2019. Future payments required under these and other obligations, expressed in millions of dollars as of December 29, 2019, are as follows:
Payments due by Fiscal Year
Certain Contractual Obligations
Interest payments on long-term debt
Operating lease commitments
Future minimum guaranteed contractual royalty payments