Dragon Ball Remains Toei Animation’s Most Successful Series as of Fiscal Year 2021

Toei Animation reports a minor drop in sales year on year to 51,595 million yen (~454 million USD), down 5.88% from 54,819 million yen (~483 million USD) it recorded the prior year. As a result, its net income suffers a slight retreat to 11,067 million yen (~97 million USD), 3.24% lower than 11,437 million yen (~100 million USD) for Fiscal Year 2020.

The reason for the small slump, which it too experienced for Fiscal Year 2020 is a result of the pandemic where box office revenue had faltered due to either a complete closure of cinemas nationwide, or limited operating capacities, such as shorter operating time, social distancing causing cinemas to only be able to admit fewer people. Other reasons given include the suspension of new TV Animation shows, plus the postponement of events as being some of the attributes contributing to the decline in sales.

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Licensing is a Major Source of Income

Although its Film Segment has seen record sales, it is its Licensing Business that continues to do well accounting to 56% of its entire sales for Fiscal Year 2021 while the Film Business only made up 38.31%. Sales have recorded a minute fall for both amid the pandemic. However, its Film Business has seen a rise in sales for its Overseas Film Business which climbed to 12,664 million yen (~112 million USD) from 11,264 million yen (~99 million USD) for Fiscal Year 2020. DVDs (which is inclusive of Blu-rays) noted a small respite thanks to the increased performance of One Piece: Stampede. Yet, the market maintains to be extremely sluggish. This is pale in comparison to the 2,000 million yen (~17 million USD) it used to at least make from Fiscal Year 2012 to 2014. For TV Animations, it is at its weakest since Fiscal Year 2012, dropping to 2,720 million yen (~24 million USD) compared to the 2,891 million yen (~25 million USD) for Fiscal Year 2020.

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Its Licensing Business noted a small decline to 28,997 million yen (~255 million USD) as a result of the weaker momentum from sales of Video Game rights such as the Dragon Ball series. The segment used to perform less than the Film Segment, however has seen a sharp rise since 2017. Its Domestic Licensing business used to dominate sales, but has now been overtaken by Overseas Licensing which brought in 15,790 million yen (~139 million USD) worth of sales for the Fiscal Year, compared to Domestic Licensing’s 13,207 million yen (~116 million USD).

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Operating income remains strong for its Licensing business, nevertheless, its Film Business has been noticing a steady climb since Fiscal Year 2019 despite the pandemic. Licensing Business on the other hand, fell slightly to 14,257 million yen (~126 million USD).

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The Overseas Market has Overtaken the Domestic Market

While global revenue has indeed fallen, from 54,989 million yen (~485 million USD) to 51,676 million yen (~455 million USD), the Overseas market has finally overtaken the Domestic market to achieve its best result ever. Sales have risen for the Overseas market to 30,442 million yen (~268 million USD), up 10.07% year on year while its Domestic market faltered, producing only 21,254 million yen (~187 million USD) in sales, a 23.08% drop year on year. This mark its worst performance since Fiscal Year 2012.

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As a result of the much lower sales produced from its Domestic market, its Overseas market now comprises 58.9% of its global sales.

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Interestingly, among those in the Overseas market, the United States alone accounted to 34.9% of the Overseas market, marking its best performance to date since Fiscal Year 2012. Sales have risen in the United States to 10,626 million yen (~94 million USD) from 9,176 million yen (~81 million USD). Asia remains the strongest performer at 13,863 million yen (~122 million USD), up 13.82% year on year.

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Dragon Ball is Still King and One Piece Retains its 2nd Spot

The report also mentioned the performance of its best four individual titles for the Domestic Licensing, Overseas Film and Overseas Licensing businesses. Popular titles such as One Piece and Dragon Ball dominate the ranks, however, there are other titles aplenty such as Pretty Cure, Sailor Moon and Digimon. In fact, for the Fiscal Year 2021, Slam Dunk has made a reemergence, being the 3rd best seller in the Overseas Licensing Business for which it brought in 2,316 million yen (~20 million USD) in sales.

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All that said, it is One Piece and Dragon Ball that control the game. In terms of their films’ performances, the two titles remain tight with Dragon Ball accounting slightly lower than One Piece in overall sales. It is for the Domestic and Overseas licensing that Dragon Ball shines the most, having both occupied the segments by 49.1% of the total sales.

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It has not been always Dragon Ball that top sales among the many Toei Animation titles. At one point, One Piece led by a huge margin especially for Fiscal Year 2012 to Fiscal Year 2016. In the following Fiscal Year, Dragon Ball catapulted in sales for all the three segments combined to see 9,170 million yen (~81 million USD) made at the time. However, it is One Piece that sees more stability. The title experienced a slight drop between Fiscal Year 2013 and 2014, but has risen steadily ever since before falling again for the Fiscal Year 2021. This is a small drop in contrast to Dragon Ball’s 14.06% year on year. Nevertheless, its 17,077 million yen (~150 million USD) in revenue puts it head over the rest, and One Piece‘s 9,368 million yen (~83 million USD) for the Fiscal Year is not to be scoffed at either.

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Toei Animation Ownership Structure

Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is incorporated in Japan with its head office in Nakano-ku. It is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under ticket symbol: 4816.

Sources:
Financial Results (FY2016)
Financial Results (FY2017)
Financial Results (FY2018)
Financial Results (FY2019)
Financial Results (FY2020)
Financial Results (FY2021)
Integrated Report 2021
Notice of Convocation of Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (FY2021)
Securities Report (FY2021)

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