Barbie demand drives North American sales increase for Mattel

Published on: 26th October 2018

Gross sales from N. America rose 5.6% in the three months ended September, the first increase in at least six quarters.

As reported by Reuters, Mattel has reported a surprise rise in North American sales, allaying concerns about the effects of retailer Toys R Us’ liquidation on the toy industry and driving its shares up 8% on Thursday.

Mattel credited the improving trend to stronger demand for Barbie. The brand has undergone changes to make it more representative of height, body type and skin tone.

Gross sales from North America rose 5.6% in the three months ended September, Mattel said, marking the first increase in at least six quarters. Analysts had, on average, estimated a near 13% drop in sales.

Its overall sales fell 8% to $1.44b, below the $1.49b expected by analysts. Mattel reported a third-quarter net income of $6.3m, compared with a loss of $603.3m a year earlier. Lower sales of Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends products resulted in an 18% decline in international sales in the third quarter.

Ynon Kreiz, CEO, commented: “We are on track with the execution of our strategy and have made meaningful progress towards restoring profitability, as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company. In the quarter, we achieved Operating Income of $122m, up 41% versus the same period last year, which is the first time in eight quarters that we have posted year-over-year growth.”

“We are proud to say that we recaptured our position as the number one toy company globally in each of the last four months through September, according to NPD. We were also the number one toy company in the US and Latin America year-to-date through September. We continued to make progress in reshaping our organisation and are actively exploring strategic alternatives for our manufacturing footprint as we move toward a capital-light model. Additionally, we have taken meaningful steps to drive future growth and capitalise on our iconic brands and IP. This includes the creation of a new theatrical film division and a global franchise management organisation.”



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