Barbie sales continue to fall in Mattel’s fourth quarter

Barbie global sales fell by 12% in the fourth quarter, contributing to Mattel's 6% drop in overall global sales. Year-end results show the toyco's revenues down by 7% overall to US$6.02 billion.
January 30, 2015

Sagging Barbie sales helped lead Mattel to post a 6% drop in global sales for the toyco’s fourth quarter and year-end financial results. Not only Barbie—dropping sales of Fisher-Price and American Girl brands also contributed to the decline.

Q4 sales were US$1.99 billion, dipping from last year’s US$2.11 billion. Net income sat at US$149.9 million, down significantly from US$369.2 million last year.

Domestic gross sales dropped by 2% during Q4, faring slightly better than international sales, which were down by 5%.

As for Barbie, she might have to return her convertible, as the iconic doll’s sales continued to drop. Global sales declined by 12%, coming off a 21% drop in the third quarter. Sales for Mattel’s Other Girls Brands also fell by 3% and American Girl sales were down by 4%.

Preschool division Fisher-Price marked a sales dip, down by 11%, as did the Entertainment division, which dropped by 21%.

However, there was a bright spot for Mattel. Sales for the toyco’s Hot Wheels brand were up 5%. This uptick is reflected in the NPD Group’s recent report on the toy industry’s 2014 performance, in which Hot Wheels was one of the top-selling traditional toys.

For the full year, global sales were down 7% to US$6.02 billion. Barbie overall fell by 16%, while Hot Wheels was up by 3%, Fisher-Price was down by 13% and American Girl dropped by 2%.

The report comes days after the news that CEO Bryan Stockton was stepping down, as Mattel predicted a disappointing quarter.

According to interim CEO and chairman Christopher Sinclair, the company has a “heightened sense of urgency” to make the necessary changes and as it looks for a new leader in the coming months; it will also look to revitalize its brands.

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