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Hasbro on Monday posted better than expected quarterly results as sales growth in the group’s gaming business helped to offset declines in partner-branded toys, like Star Wars merchandise.

Rhode Island-based Hasbro said its earnings rose 41 per cent year-over-year to $68.6m, as revenues climbed 2 per cent to $849.7m. Excluding an 11 cent accounting benefit, earnings per share were 43 cents.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations of EPS of 38 cents on sales of $819.7m.

Hasbro’s upbeat results sent shares rising 2.6 per cent in pre-market trading. They drew a stark comparison with rival Mattel, which posted a nearly 14 per cent decline on Friday after its quarterly figures missed forecasts.

“Our first quarter results are in line with our previously communicated expectations and we are well positioned to execute against 2017’s rich content slate and diverse new initiatives,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chief executive.

Hasbro’s gaming category, which includes brands like the Monopoly board game and the Magic: The Gathering card game, shined. Revenues there rose 10 per cent to $253.3m.

On the opposite side of the spectrum its partner brand sales deteriorated on the back of strong comparisons in the previous year’s quarter that included the hit film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Sales in partner brands slid 18 per cent to $213m.

Mr Goldner noted, however, that “over the coming quarters, we are supporting significant new initiatives including major theatrical films for both franchise [core] and partner brands”.

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