As the impact of losing the lucrative Disney Princess license continues to shape Mattel’s financial footprint, Barbie, for one, is standing tall.
Worldwide gross sales for the iconic doll brand were up 16% to US$350 million in Mattel’s third quarter of 2016, which overall brought home flat global net sales (US$1.79 billion).
Q3 gross profit dropped 1% to US$871 million. Quarterly net sales in North America, comprised of the US, Canada and American Girl, increased 3% over last year, which offset a 4% decline in international net sales. Adjusted operating income for the quarter was US$324.1 million, compared to US$317.4 million in the prior year. And for the nine months ended September 30, net cash flows used for operating activities were US$331 million, an increase of roughly US$109 over last year.
Global gross sales for Mattel Girls & Boys Brands were US$1.06 billion, marking a 5% drop over last year, while gross sales for the Entertainment business, which includes Radica and Games, were up 16%. The Wheels category saw a 6% sales gain, as did Fisher-Price Brands, to the tune of US$661.5 million.
American Girl Brands sales were US$125.5 million, up 14% over the prior year. In August, American Girl signed a multi-year partnership with Toys “R” Us that made the New Jersey-based retailer the first-ever US chain to feature the Mattel subsidiary’s shop-in-shops. Toys “R” Us will also become the exclusive carrier of American Girl’s popular Truly Me dolls, outfits and accessories.
Despite a 50% drop in global gross sales for Other Girls Brands to US$162 million, Mattel says it remains on track to deliver on its full-year outlook.
As for Barbie, momentum continues to rise for the brand, following eight consecutive periods of sustained losses. Last quarter, the doll saw sales rise 23% to US$160.5, thanks largely in part to the brand’s forward-thinking Fashionistas line.