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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Postman Pat set for US deliveries
Postman Pat and cat Jess by Statue of Liberty
ER hopes Pat's move to the US will deliver a boost to the business
Postman Pat is set to make his US television debut after his UK-owner Entertainment Rights (ER) agreed a deal with American children's network Qubo.

Pat will also make his first appearance in China this year market thanks to a deal with broadcaster CCTV.

The news came as Entertainment Rights unveiled a 35% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to 8.7m ($17.1m).

However, revenues slipped 3% to 29.7m during the period as the weaker dollar cost the group 1.5m.

ER said the latest US deal would give the group access to the "largest entertainment and media market in the world" - which it says is expected to be worth $660bn by 2008.

New markets

Under the agreement with Qubo, Postman Pat episodes will be shown on NBC, Telemundo and ION Media Networks. The deal should also lead to strong sales of Postmen Pat merchandise.

Meanwhile, the "landmark" Chinese deal will offer "significant opportunities" in the country's lucrative toy market - which ER estimates is worth as much as $1.3bn, and is expected to grow by 40% a year.

The company has been looking to beef up its presences in the US, China and India in recent years.

To this end, last year the group snapped up Classic Media Holdings - which owns the rights to He-Man, Dick Tracey, and Lassie, among others - for 106.9m last year.

"Classic Media complements and strengthens the company's existing operations and importantly, this acquisition will have a transforming impact on the financial status of the enlarged group," said chairman Rod Bransgrove.

"This acquisition presents us with tremendous opportunities for the future."

ER's acquisition of the Where's Wally? brand in January is also expected to boost business in future, as he features across a range of media - including mobile phones, and computer games as well as TV shows.

In the past year ER has also launched two new brands - Rupert the Bear and Jim Jam & Sunny - as well as commissioning new Postman Pat, Basil Brush and Guess With Jess shows.

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