It seems the toy industry is still weathering the economic storm, as Mattel reports losses in its third quarter.
The toyco posted a net income of US$229.8 million versus US$238.1 million from the same quarter in 2008. Net sales were down 8% to US$1.79 billion compared to last year’s US$1.95 billion. Regionally, Q3 gross sales saw a decrease of 2% in the US and a 14% dip in international markets, while operating income shot up to US$336.5 million from last year’s US$315.3 million for the quarter.
Chairman and CEO Bob Eckert states that revenues were challenging as a result of retailers tightly managing inventory, foreign exchange rates and the lack of entertainment-inspired toys.
Worldwide gross sales for the girls and boys brands biz were down 10% to US$1.08 billion. Barbie was down 8% as a result of flat domestic sales and international declines, and other girls brands dipped 19%, mostly from declines in High School Musical and Polly Pocket toy lines, which were partially offset by higher sales of Little Mommy and Disney Princesses in the US.
Worldwide gross sales in the wheels category (Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Tyco R/C) were down 3%, and worldwide gross sales for the Entertainment biz (Radica and games and puzzles) were down 15% in Q3, mostly as a result of to lower sales of Radica and toys from last year’s summer entertainment properties, partially offset by worldwide sales of toys supporting Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Toy Story 2, along with stronger US sales of Disney/Pixar Cars product.
Fisher-Price brands, which includes Fisher-Price Core, Fisher-Price Friends and Power Wheels brands, were US$784.8 million, down 6% versus the prior year, mostly due to declines in Fisher-Price Core and Fisher-Price Friends domestically.
American Girl brands, however, were up 4% to US$82. 4 million versus last year, thanks to the opening of two new boutique stores in Boston and Minneapolis in November 2008.