Hasbro revenue, profit beat as Disney Princess dolls dazzle

(Reuters) - Hasbro Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by strong demand for Disney Princess, Frozen and Trolls dolls, and said it was seeing “strong sales trends” heading into the holiday shopping season.

The No. 2 U.S. toymaker’s shares rose as much as 8.3 percent to $82.48 in morning trading on Monday. Shares of larger rival Mattel Inc were up as much as about 3 percent at $31.00.

Hasbro won the lucrative contract for dolls based on Walt Disney Co’s princesses such as Cinderella and Snow White from Mattel in 2014.

Net revenue in the girls’ toys segment jumped 56.7 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 25, overshadowing slower growth in the boys’ toys segment - Hasbro’s biggest business.

Sales in the boys segment, which includes Star Wars and Jurassic World toys and merchandise, rose 2 percent to $605.50 million for the quarter, compared with a 24 percent jump last year.

Sales in the segment were affected as toys related to the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” film hit shelves on Sept. 30, five days after the end of the third quarter.

The segment received a boost in the year-earlier quarter from the Sept. 4 release of merchandise related to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World”.

“Our expectation remains that our 2016 Star Wars revenue may match the level we achieved in 2015,” Chief Executive Brian Goldner said.

Net income attributable to Hasbro rose to $257.8 million, or $2.03 per share, from $207.6 million, or $1.64 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected $1.74 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based company’s revenue rose 14.2 percent to $1.68 billion, handily beating the average analyst estimate of $1.56 billion.

Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto