Q1 income is down compared to last year’s first quarter net income of $30.2 million, however, last year’s quarterly net income was positively impacted by tax benefits of approximately $57 million, relating to audit settlements with foreign tax authorities.
“While not a particularly significant quarter within the seasonal toy industry, our positive first quarter results are a good start to the year,” said chairman and CEO Bob Eckert (pictured).
“I am pleased with the performance of our strong portfolio of brands, including nice increases in the Fisher-Price and Wheels businesses and continued strength of the Disney/Pixar Cars entertainment property. Our international business continued to generate strong growth around the world, and we benefited from improved gross margins.”
For the quarter, net sales were $940.3 million, up 19 per cent compared to $793.3 million last year.
On a regional basis, first quarter gross sales increased 10 per cent in the US and increased 29 percent in international territories. Operating income for the quarter was $20.6 million, compared to prior year’s operating loss for the quarter of $32.0 million, which included $13 million of severance charges.
For the first quarter, worldwide gross sales for the Mattel Girls and Boys Brands business unit were $567 million, up 15 per cent versus a year ago. Worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand were up two percent, with increases in international markets offsetting declines in the US. Worldwide gross sales for Other Girls Brands were down eight per cent, with gains in the Disney Princesses and Polly Pocket toy lines offset by declines in the Winx and Pixel Chix toy lines.
Worldwide gross sales for the Wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Tyco R/C brands, were up 15 per cent, led by double-digit growth in the Hot Wheels and Matchbox lines. Worldwide gross sales for the Entertainment business, which includes Radica and Games and Puzzles, were up 59 per cent for the quarter, reflecting strong performance in the Cars entertainment property and the addition of Radica.
First quarter worldwide gross sales for the Fisher-Price Brands business unit, which includes the Fisher-Price Core, Fisher-Price Friends and the Power Wheels brand, were $391.3 million, or up 27 per cent versus the prior year. This reflects strong growth in Fisher-Price Friends and Core Fisher-Price worldwide.
First quarter gross sales for the American Girl Brands business unit, which offers American Girl branded products directly to consumers, were $62.9 million, up two percent against last year.