Barbie struts her stuff in Mattel’s Q2

Following consecutive losses, Mattel’s iconic doll saw sales rise by 23% in Q2, driven by the intro of the groundbreaking and diverse Barbie Fashionistas line.
July 21, 2016

You can call her Comeback Barbie.

Following eight consecutive periods of sustained losses, Mattel’s iconic doll saw sales rise 23% to US$160.5 million during the company’s second quarter, thanks largely in part to the brand’s forward-thinking Fashionistas line.

Overall, the California-based toyco saw global net sales drop by  3% to US$957.3 million in Q2, and gross profits fall by 8% to US$433.6 million. Operating losses were US$11.7 million, compared to a reported operating income of US$0.6 million in the same period last year.

Internationally, net sales were down by 10%, however net sales within the North American division, which includes the US, Canada and the American Girl operation, increased by 3% over last year.

Gross sales for Mattel Girls & Boys Brands were US$553.7 million—a decline of 8%. And while Barbie sales were up, Other Girls brands saw a significant 60% drop in sales to US$70.4 million, largely driven by the loss of the Disney Princess license to Hasbro earlier this year.

Global gross sales for the Wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands, were up 1%, and global gross sales for the company’s Entertainment business, which includes Radica and Games, were up 19%.

Second quarter worldwide gross sales for Fisher-Price Brands, meanwhile, were up 3% to US$346.3 million, and Construction and Arts & Crafts Brands, which includes MEGA BLOKS and RoseArt, saw its sales rise by 12% to US$72.3 million.

With American Girl sales down 19% to US$68.1 million, Barbie is playing a strong part in keeping Mattel’s hold on the girls market—even if kids have been fickle when it comes to the doll. In Mattel’s Q3 of 2015, the company reported a 3% drop in gross sales thanks in large part to Barbie fatigue. Q1 of this year saw flat sales for the iconic doll (US$141 million), but it also marked the arrival of Fashionistas, a groundbreaking take on the iconic doll that features four different Barbie body types, varying skin tones and an array of new hairstyles.  

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