Mattel encouraged by ‘progress and momentum’ reflected in Q4 and 2019 results

With $4.5 billion in sales for its Q4 and full year earnings for 2019, Mattel has come out flat on the year prior, beating the expectations of industry and market analysts.

For the US toymaker, Q4 revenue declined three per cent to $1.47 billion, reflecting the numerous challenges that the toy sector has faced, as well as many retailers, over the Christmas trading period.

Mattel chairman and CEO, Ynon Kriez, has maintained an optimism over Mattel’s Q4 and full-year results, as well as the ‘belt-tightening’ efforts that the company has gone to in order to offset some of its slower brands.

“2019 was an important inflection point in our turnaround. We stabilised our topline after five consecutive years of revenue decline, continued to significantly improve profitability, and achieved positive operating cash flow and positive free cash flow for the first time in three years,” said Kriez.

“We are very encouraged by the consistent progress the company is making and expect to continue to build on this momentum. We remain focused on the execution of our multi-year turnaround strategy to transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high performing toy company and create long-term shareholder value.”

Mattel’s vehicles category was up three per cent for the year, driven once again by increases in Hot Wheels. Sales for the Hot Wheels division grew 11 per cent for the year, but was offset by a decline in Disney Pixar Cars and Jurassic Park/Jurassic World vehicles.

Meanwhile, the combined action figures, building sets, and games category was up 14 per cent for the year, and nine per cent in Q4. Sales in Toy Story 4 products led the pack, but was again offset by decreases in Jurassic Park/Jurassic World.

For Barbie, sales rose two per cent in Q4, helping the brand to a seven per cent increase for the year. A struggling American Girl brand, however, pulled the overall category down.

Worldwide gross sales for infant, toddler, and pre-school declines 11 per cent for the year, with the biggest drop coming from Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends.

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