Last year was a rough one for toy giant Mattel, which posted its Q4 and financial results for 2008 today, marking an 11% drop in net sales worldwide over the fourth quarter. Overall 2008 revenues, however, were down by 1% to US$5.92 billion.
Domestic and international gross sales decreased by 2% and 1%, respectively, in 2008, while Q4 saw a 6% and 20% dive in the same categories. Net income rang in at US$176.4 million for the quarter, compared to last year’s Q4 net income of US$328.5 million. For the year, Mattel reported a net income of US$379.6 million, a significant decline from 2007′s net income of US$600 million.
Mattel’s powerhouse brands took a hit, with its girls and boys brand revenues declining by 17% in the fourth quarter to US$1.12 billion worldwide, versus the same period last year. Barbie’s worldwide gross sales were down 21%, with the toyco’s sales on other girls brands dropping by 8%. Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco also saw a global decline of 19%. For the whole of 2008, worldwide gross sales for boys and girls brands were down 2% to US$3.64 billion, while Barbie was down 9%, though other girls brands were up 11%. The Wheels category saw a 4% bump, though the entertainment business (Radica, games and puzzles) saw 4% decline. The American Girl brand, however, seemed to be holding up well, with Q4 gross sales up 5% to US$254 million and annual gross sales up 7% to US$463.1 million.
Its preschool brand Fisher-Price, including Little People and Power Wheels, took a 10% slide down to US$754.2 million in Q4, with worldwide gross sales for the year falling by 3% to US$2.36 billion.