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.