Fisher-Price and Wheels category, which includes Hot Wheels, were the bright spots, with sales rising
Sales of the company’s flagship Barbie dolls slipped marginally, declining 3.4 % in the quarter, after a 1 % rise in the fourth quarter of 2015 had reversed two years of declines. Looking ahead, Barbie sales are expected to rise in moderate single-digits this year and the fashionista line has been well received, according to chief executive Christopher Sinclair.
Sales across its other girls’ brands fell more heavily, impacted by weak sales of Monster High fashion dolls and loss of the Disney license. Monster High is a work in process, Sinclair said, adding that Mattel is in the process of revamping the brand by restructuring the price points and adding fresh content. The loss of the licence to produce Disney Princess and Frozen dolls – which accounted for around $455 million, or 7 percent of Mattel’s total gross sales, in 2015 – also had a significant effect on the first quarter numbers.
Net sales fell 5.8%to $869.4 million, but topped the average analyst estimate of $861.1 million.