Mattel’s 2021 financial results “well ahead of expectations”

Mattel has reported its fourth quarter and full year financial results for 2021, which show the company is firmly in growth mode. Over the full year, Net Sales were up 19% as reported, and 18% in constant currency – the highest annual growth rate in decades.

Mattel EMEA was the fastest-growing region; for the quarter, Gross Billings increased 18% with POS up Mid-Single Digits, and for the full year, Gross Billings gained 20% with POS up Low Double Digits.

In Q4, Mattel was the number-one toy company globally, with three of the top seven properties. Barbie was the number-one overall toy property globally in both Q4 and FY, for the 2nd consecutive year, per NPD.

The company expects 2022 to be another successful year, having recently acquired global licensing rights to develop lines of toys, including fashion dolls, small dolls, and figures, for the Disney Princess and Frozen franchises and rights to the upcoming live action film The Little Mermaid. Two Mattel Films projects are also in production this year: Warner Bros’ Barbie, and Netflix’s Masters of the Universe.

Anthony DiSilvestro, CFO of Mattel said: “2021 was another year of strong financial performance. We generated significant free cash flow, reduced debt, and further improved our balance sheet. We remain focused on executing our strategy and creating long-term shareholder value.”

Over the full year, Worldwide Gross Billings for Dolls were $2,299 million, up 21% versus the prior year, primarily driven by growth in Barbie, Spirit, and Polly Pocket.

Growth in the Fisher-Price, Thomas & Friends and Power Wheels brands saw Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Worldwide Gross Billings up 5%, at $1,221 million.

Other strong categories include Vehicles and Action Figures, with Worldwide Gross Billings for Vehicles standing at $1,253 million, up 13% as reported and 12% in constant currency, primarily driven by growth in Hot Wheels and Matchbox.

Worldwide Gross Billings for Action Figures, Building Sets, Games, and Other were $1,309 million, up 32% as reported, and 31% in constant currency, primarily driven by growth in Action Figures (including Jurassic World, Masters of the Universe, and WWE), Plush, and Building Sets (including MEGA).

Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel, says: “Mattel’s results for the quarter and full year came in well ahead of expectations, capping another exceptional performance for the company. We have made significant progress on our transformation strategy over the last few years, and our turnaround is now complete. We are in growth mode and believe we are well positioned to continue our momentum, with 2022 guidance exceeding prior goals and an even stronger outlook for 2023.”

“In 2021, our products resonated with consumers at levels we have not seen in years and, per The NPD Group, we continued to gain market share. We also strengthened our position as a partner of choice for the major entertainment companies and, in addition to our own IP, have a formidable line-up of evergreen properties to drive future growth. The Mattel team stayed committed to our purpose to empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential, and to our mission to create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain, and develop children through play.”

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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