Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spirit Of 76 Trombones?

1976 was a big year for the United States as its 200th birthday was celebrated in a yearlong expression of patriotism, red white and blue themed events, and bad mid-70's design.  For some reason Topps, which traced its paternal lineage back to the American Leaf Tobacco Company and American Gas Stations, elected to ignore all of this in designing their 1976 Annual Report.  Instead, they went with a theme that reminds me of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man:

As in 1975, the back cover was a copy of the front cover. The 1976 report continued a trend toward less photography and content and more straight up financial analysis. Once again the big news was on the international front as plans were announced for a new 50,000 square foot facility in Ireland, to serve as a center of manufacturing for their UK and European operations:

A nice start but compare this with the 400,000 square foot Duryea, Pennsylvania plant:

Topps also added a 33,000 square foot plant in Scranton, PA for candy manufacturing, a real "back to the future" move for them.

Another bit of financial news is intriguing:

These royalties were steadily increasing but seem like a bargain compared to today.  The report also notes that Bazooka was still their most profitable item.

Sy Berger finally got a little love as top level executives were also added to the annual pictures of the Board of Directors, which was still a Shorin family juggernaut:

Net sales increased yet again, by 11.2% to $55.748 million. Price increases in all product lines were helping tremendously. The quarterly dividend was also increased from 5 to 7 cents, a sure sign of growth.

I'm going to stop here in terms of acquiring their annul reports I think.  There seems to be less and less detail as the years pass from the 1972 IPO.

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