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Hallmark announces 2013 results

Hallmark North America, Crayola and Crown Media contribute to revenue and earnings results

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hallmark Cards, Inc., today announced consolidated revenue of $3.9 billion for the year, a two percent decrease from the previous year. Earnings for the privately-held company improved over the same time period.

Hallmark president and CEO Donald J. Hall, Jr., said 2013 results reflect shifts in how the company is managing all aspects of its business in response to the changing demands of the marketplace. 

"Hallmark is made up of a diversified portfolio of businesses that are all strong contributors to the company's financial and brand health," Hall said.  "We have two of the world's most trusted brands in Hallmark and Crayola and a branded entertainment network that is reaching a growing number of US households. The balance of our total portfolio, and the opportunities that lie within each of the businesses, gives me confidence in our future."

Revenue in Hallmark North America, which includes greeting cards, gift wrap and gifts, was four percent less than the prior year.  In 2013, the North American operating business took many steps to improve efficiencies including plans to streamline the greetings product development process and to integrate many functions of Hallmark Canada into the US business. The company improved its competitiveness by consolidating three domestic manufacturing facilities into two locations, which retained 1,000 jobs in Kansas and increased production volume in the two facilities.

Consumer feedback for Hallmark North America's new retail concept store, HMK, has been positive since the first store opened in Kansas City last October. Plans are in place to open two additional HMK locations this spring.  In April, HMK will open in Southlake Town Square, a suburban retail community near the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Denver's Cherry Creek Shopping Center will welcome HMK in June.

Strong back-to-school and holiday results helped Crayola revenues end the year three percent ahead of last year. Crayola's Digital Light Designer was named 2013 Innovative Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association. Toys "R" Us included the Melt 'n' Mold Factory on its 2013 Holiday Hot Toy list. In 2013, Crayola elevated its presence in Japan and China and plans to expand into other select international markets in 2014.

Publicly traded Crown Media, in which Hallmark is a majority owner, recently announced revenue for 2013 increased eight percent from 2012.

"Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel continue to elevate the relevance of the Hallmark brand to our consumers," Hall said. "In fact, Hallmark Channel was the No. 1 cable network among households and women 25-54 years old for weekend primetime throughout the holiday season. The Countdown to Christmas programming continues to attract new, younger viewers and extend the channel's appeal."

The challenging business environment in the U.K. and Australia resulted in a three percent revenue decline for Hallmark International. To strengthen its position in a highly competitive market, Hallmark UK recently announced plans to transition greeting card and gift wrap manufacturing from Bradford, England, to other printers, including Hallmark's specialty production center in Leavenworth, KS.

"The actions being taken by Hallmark U.K. are just one of the many transformative steps being taken across all of Hallmark's operating businesses," Hall said. "These are important steps toward securing a strong future for our business worldwide."

Revenues for Crown Center, Hallmark's real estate subsidiary, were essentially flat compared to 2012. However the area expects increased visits once Halls on Grand opens later this year.

"Crown Center took another meaningful step as part of its ongoing reinvention when it announced its plan to consolidate two Halls locations into a single new retail experience – Halls on Grand," Hall added. "I believe this will stimulate a revitalized retail experience for the shops and elevate the overall vibrancy of Crown Center."

About Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people express what's in their hearts and connect in emotional ways with others. In the U.S., innovative Hallmark greeting cards and gifts are sold through the network of Hallmark Gold Crown® specialty stores, leading mass retailers and online. Worldwide, Hallmark offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries. Millions of households enjoy family friendly television programming offered by cable's top-rated Hallmark Channel and fast-growing Hallmark Movie Channel. Hallmark's Crayola subsidiary inspires artistic creativity in children through Crayola® crayons and markers as well as other innovative art tools, crafting activities and creative toys. Privately held Hallmark is based in Kansas City, MO., and continues to be led by members of the founding Hall family. Visit http://corporate.hallmark.com for more details.

SOURCE Hallmark Cards, Inc.

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