Worldwide sales down 15%, Barbie sales fell by 13%.
For the first quarter of 2017, Mattel’s global sales were down 15% to $753m (£574m), the biggest slide since 2009 and considerably short of the $801m forecast. This lead to an operating loss of $127m, compared to the previous year’s first quarter loss of $49.1 m.
However, results in the International market were considerably better than the North American numbers. Gross sales for Mattel in the International Region were down 2%, while gross sales in the North American region were down 23%. Sales in the Asia Pacific region were particularly strong, growing by 17%.
In terms of its flagship brands, Barbie sales fell by 13% and Fisher-Price sales fell by 9%, while sales for the wheeled category increased by 4%. The report also admits that Mattel was forced to slash prices to move unsold stock left over from the Christmas season.
Margo Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel, commented: “Our Q1 results were below our expectations due to the retail inventory overhang coming out of the holiday period, but we remain encouraged by strong performance at retail for our key core brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, as well as sustained momentum in high-growth markets like China. We are confident we have worked through the majority of this overhang and look forward to a strong launch of Disney’s Cars 3 theatrical release in the second quarter. While we have a lot of work to do to successfully position Mattel for the future, we see a clear runway to improving growth and profitability over time.”