Before we begin, let me note that during this call and the question-and-answer session that follows, members of Hasbro management may make forward-looking statements concerning management's expectations, goals, objectives and similar matters. These forward-looking statements may include comments concerning our product and entertainment plans, anticipated product performance, business opportunities and strategies, costs, financial goals and expectations for our future financial performance and achieving our objective.There are many factors that could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. Some of those factors are set forth in our annual report on Form 10-K, in today's press release and in our other public disclosures. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made today to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this call. Now I would like to introduce Brian Goldner. Brian? Brian D. Goldner Thank you, Debbie. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. The third quarter highlights the global execution of our branded play strategy and keeps us on the path to deliver meaningful growth in revenues and earnings per share in 2011. Not only was this a record third quarter in respect to revenues, operating profit and net earnings, there are a number of important positive trends which give us the confidence to maintain our outlook for the full year. Three weeks into the fourth quarter, our shipments in the U.S. and Canada segment are off to a strong start, tracking ahead of last year and reaffirming our belief that the decline in the third quarter was substantially related to the timing of orders. We are all well aware that the retail landscape today requires more just-in-time inventory than before, as well as our new initiatives are only recently hitting retail shelves. As you know, last year's holiday performance was affected by softer U.S. consumer demand, in particular, in games.
In the U.S., we believe we are in a stronger position than last year, as we entered the fourth quarter with less inventory at retail. As well, it is positive trends in point of sale during the third quarter. Point of sale in our top 4 U.S. accounts was up 8% year-over-year in the quarter versus being up slightly in the second quarter and down in the first quarter. This quarter's growth was driven by mid-teen percentage gains in our toy point of sale as well as improvement in our games point of sale. Most importantly, for our consumers globally, we have a great innovative product line that delivers the value and brands consumers are seeking, given the challenging economic environment this holiday season.Across all categories, we have new highly innovative exciting products: LET'S ROCK ELMO, the Elefun Busy Ball Popper and the NERF VORTEX are each on a number of hot-toy lists for the holiday season, along with other great Hasbro toys and games including TRANSFORMERS, FURREAL FRIENDS, COOKIE MY PLAYFUL PUP, SIMON Flash, BEYBLADE and Star Wars. Many of these initiatives have just begun hitting store shelves in recent weeks. In total, more than 20 Hasbro toys and games are on the hot-toy lists and third-party expert award lists in the U.S. and international markets this holiday season. Internationally, our business continues to post strong results, delivering 23% revenue growth in the third quarter; 15% growth, absent foreign exchange, including growth in all major geographic regions. Year-to-date, the International segment revenues have grown 27% or 19%, absent foreign exchange. While the economies in Europe are facing challenges of their own, our Toy and Game business and the overall market have held up well. Additionally, as you're aware, we have been investing in establishing and growing our brands globally, including a focus on the emerging markets. We are gaining market share in both mature international markets as well as emerging markets. Based on our momentum in these markets, the strength of our line and our current expectations, we remain optimistic about our International business for the full year.
Taking a closer look at our overall third quarter results. We had several Hasbro brands perform well and contribute to our overall growth. BABY ALIVE, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and TRANSFORMERS, including the new KRE-O-branded products, all continued their growth trends in the quarter. Additionally, shipments of the new Easy-Bake Oven grew the brand year-over-year. SIMON and YAHTZEE brands grew with the new flash games on shelf now and the launch of our GAME OF LIFE Adventures helped extend the brand globally, particularly in Europe, and contributed to growth in the quarter.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com