Disney sees merchandise retail sales over $30 billion

NEW YORK Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:17pm EDT

Actors Zac Efron (L) and Vanessa Hudgens, stars of the Disney Channel movie ''High School Musical 2'' pose at the film's premiere at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California in this August 14, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Actors Zac Efron (L) and Vanessa Hudgens, stars of the Disney Channel movie ''High School Musical 2'' pose at the film's premiere at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California in this August 14, 2007 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. said on Tuesday it expects retail sales of licensed merchandise to top $30 billion worldwide in fiscal 2008, helped by its popular Disney Princess and High School Musical brands.

Last year, the company said its sales of licensed Disney merchandise rose to $27 billion, more than doubling from five years earlier. Disney receives a licensing fee, usually between 8 percent and 10 percent, of total retail sales of product associated with its brands.

Retail sales of merchandise aimed at "tweens" -- children aged 9 to 12 -- such as the Disney Channel's High School Musical and Hannah Montana, is expected to surge to $2.7 billion in fiscal 2008 from $400 million a year earlier, Disney said.

Disney also projected that its Fairies and Princess franchises aimed at younger girls would reach $5 billion, and that merchandise based on the hit Disney-Pixar film "Cars" would reach $2.5 billion in worldwide retail sales this fiscal year, which closes in the end of September.

Disney shares rose 1.5 percent to $33.68.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch in New York and Gina Keating in Los Angeles; Editing by Derek Caney)

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