Mixed fortunes for Mattel

Mattel’s fourth-quarter share earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations but profit still dipped two per cent year on year while full year turnover was up and profit down.
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Worldwide gross sales for Barbie and Hot Wheels both declined 11 per cent, although its American Girl brand climbed 12 per cent, while Fisher-Price products rose one per cent.

Fourth quarter net income declined to $279.2 million compared to $284.3 million in the same period the year before. Turnover for the quarter was almost unchanged at $1.84 billion compared to $1.85 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Gross sales for the most recent quarter fell three per cent in the US and increased three per cent in international markets.

For the year, the firm reported net income of $417 million compared with net income of $572.7 million the previous year. Net sales were $5.18 billion, a slight increase from $5.10 billion in 2004.

Mattel chairman and chief executive officer Robert Eckert (pictured) said 2006 results would benefit from price increases, cost cutting and a continued refocusing of its flagship Barbie brand.

"We expected 2005 to be a challenging year for Mattel and it was," Eckert said.

Eckert added that the firm will be raising prices anywhere from two to three per cent on certain lines this year to offset higher manufacturing costs.

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Mattel has reported 2007 its first quarter financial results with net income down to $12 million but sales up to $940.3m.

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