Mattel reports sales slump

Mattel has announced its full year results, revealing fourth quarter and full year profits down.
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For the fourth quarter, the company reported a net income of $176.4 million, compared to a net income of $328.5 million for the same period in 2007.

Sales for Q4 were $1.94 billion, down 11 per cent year-on-year from $2.19 billion. The company attributed much of the decrease to the unfavourable impact on changes in currency exchange rates.

On a regional basis, fourth quarter gross sales were down six per cent in the US and were down 20 per cent in international markets. Operating income for the quarter was down 36 per cent to $232.4 million.

For 2008, the firm reported a net income of $379.6 million compared to last year's net income of $600 million. Net sales were $5.92 billion - a one per cent decline from $5.97 billion last year.

On a regional basis, full-year gross sales were down two per cent in the US and were down one per cent in international markets, which included a benefit from changes in currency exchange rates.

Operating income for the year was $541.8 million, down 26 per cent compared to 2007.

Across the firm’s brands, Barbie sales fell 21 per cent in Q4 and nine per cent across the full year. Hot Wheels were down 22 per cent in the fourth quarter and six per cent over the year.

Fisher-Price sales slipped by nine per cent in quarter four, but were up by one per cent in 2008. Bucking the trend were American Girl sales, which rose by five per cent in the period and were up by seven per cent over the year.

Bob Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel, said: "Our business wasn't immune from the deteriorating economic environment of 2008. In response, our focus for 2009 is on cost and spending reductions, and maintaining a strong balance sheet."


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