HALF-year pre-tax profits for Oldham toy firm the Character Group have jumped from £4.5 million to £5.6 million, compared to last year.

Turnover for the London Stock Exchange listed company, based in Lees Road, has also risen to £58.8 million from £50.5 million in the six-month period to February 28.

In-house ranges include Peppa Pig and Stretch, and exclusive, third-party lines including Little Live Pets and Pokémon, are all continuing to trade well, the company said.

Character also continued to add exciting, innovative ranges, such as Hair Dooz, Odditeez Ploppz, and OMG pets.

A statement released on behalf of joint managing directors Jon Diver and Kiran Shah said: “Character has delivered a strong first half performance and the directors remain optimistic about the progress the business will make over this calendar year and the important 2019/20 winter season.

“At the various trade fairs and presentations around the world this year, we have once again received positive feedback on our 2019 listings from our customers and we are confident that the performance of our core ranges, together with new introductions, will result in further growth in demand for our portfolio in the calendar year ahead.

“Our highly experienced teams are dedicated to developing, marketing and distributing innovative and exciting toys that meet today's high expectations that both our customers and the consumer demand in terms of quality, value and price.

“Generally, our market is rapidly changing from a standard toy market to a trend-led, fast-moving sector and we believe that we are in a great position, both in market share terms and in experience and agility, to exploit this changing environment.

“We have made excellent progress and we are actively taking up opportunities, both at home and internationally, to deliver further fresh and new products, that meet demands of the market and that further enhance our portfolio.”