Mattel profits dip, warns of price rises

Mattel's latest results show profits slightly down, but better than many analysts had forecast.
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For the three months ended December 31st the company reported profit of $325.2m, compared with $328.4m in the same quarter a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter sales totalled $2.12bn, a nine per cent increase from the year-earlier quarter. Sales in the US were up 11 per cent.

For the year, it reported a profit of $684.9m - a near 30 per cent increase compared with $528.7m in 2009. Sales were $5.86bn, an eight per cent increase from $5.43bn in 2009; full-year gross sales were up nine per cent in the US.

"I am pleased with our strong results for the quarter and the year, with revenue growth across brands and markets, and improved profitability," chief executive, Bob Eckert, said.

"Our priority for 2011 is to accelerate our performance by inculcating our new vision and implementing a new organisational structure, uncovering the next layer of cost-cutting opportunities, generating significant cash flow and deploying capital in a disciplined and opportunistic manner," he added.

However, the firm warned that rising manufacturing costs would result in increased prices.

"We are seeing increasing costs ... it looks like we are going to have to take some pricing along the way too, said chief operating officer, Bryan Stockton."

See his interview with Reuters here

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