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Hit Entertainment Announces Record Year-End Results

Childrens entertainment outfit HIT Entertainment reported record financial results for its fiscal year, which ended July 31, 2002. Citing the success of its BOB THE BUILDER and BARNEY properties, coupled with its recent acquisition of Gullane as key growth drivers, HIT Entertainment reported consolidated net revenues of 121 million pounds (US $190.5 million), representing 131% annual growth compared to 2001 of 52.3 million pounds ($82.3 million).Gross profit, excluding certain charges and goodwill, grew to 27.3 million pounds ($43 million), which compared to the 7.5 million pounds ($11.8 million) reported in 2001 and earnings per share was up 214% to 13.2p (20.7 cents), from 4.2p (6.6 cents) in the year ago period."2002 was a remarkable year for HIT not only because it was the most profitable financial year in the companys history, but also because it clearly demonstrates the success of our strategy to become the leading provider of young childrens entertainment," said Rob Lawes, CEO of HIT Entertainment. "The strength of our brands across all categories is a clear indicator of the long-term value of our properties and we have excellent momentum going into 2003, confident with our long-term strategy, ongoing execution and the inherent strength of our business model." Lawes went on to state that both BOB THE BUILDER and BARNEY had impressive sales increases from 2001 to 2002, up 231% and 89% respectively. Added Lawes, "Coupled with the recent acquisition of THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE (via Gullane), HIT now owns three of the worlds most successful pre-school franchises." HIT also reported that its new preschool property RUBBADUBBERS is now licensed by Nickelodeon for U.S. broadcast in 2003 and by Hasbro for the worldwide master toy license. RUBBADUBBERS follows the antics of a bunch of bath toys and is developed and produced at Hot Animation, Hit's Manchester animation studio. The series has already been licensed to the BBC and Super RTL in Germany.