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    The Topps Co. Sees Revenues Grow Nearly 10 Percent

    But confectionery sales continue to decline.

    Pushed by strong sales of sport cards in the United States, The Topps Co. Inc. saw net sales for its fiscal 2007 second quarter increase 9.9 percent to $82.3 million, compared to $74.9 million last year, despite a poor showing by the company's confectionary business. Net income in the fiscal 2007 second quarter was $3.4 million.

    Net sales of the entertainment segment increased 30 percent to $42.5 million in the quarter. Sales of U.S. sports cards increased substantially, more than offsetting declines in international publishing and WizKids. European sports product sales increased modestly on a year-over-year basis, benefiting from World Cup-related products.

    "The strong performance of U.S. sports cards reflected the continued momentum resulting from our strategic initiatives to reverse industry trends in the sports card market," said Arthur T. Shorin, chairman and CEO of Topps. "Additionally, our sports card sales benefited from an improved product lineup and increased marketing and promotional support. Importantly, we realized margin improvement as increased volume per release offset higher investments in marketing."

    Confectionery net sales were $39.8 million in the second quarter, a 5.8-percent decline compared to last year's figures. Net sales in the period were principally impacted by softness in U.S. Ring Pop and Push Pop product lines. There were solid sales contributions from newly introduced seasonal products such as Halloween Bazooka Bags and Halloween Baby Bottle Pops.

    "There are multiple initiatives underway to improve the performance of our confectionery business," Shorin said. "We are moving forward with redesign and line-extension programs, as well as plans to expand our domestic distribution and broaden in-store placement at existing customers. Additionally, our new, innovative Vertigo lollipop is slated to launch in November."

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