Business

Mattel shares jump as Barbie boosts profit

Mattel shares jumped on Thursday after the toymaker reported that its quarterly profit more than tripled with help from its iconic Barbie dolls.

Sales were up 10 percent in the quarter that ended September 30, while Barbie gross sales leapt 29 percent, the California-based company said in an earnings release.

Net income was $316 million, some 348 percent higher than the same period last year, according to Mattel.

“This was a very strong quarter for Mattel,” said chief executive Ynon Kreiz.

“We saw a major upswing in topline and a significant increase in profitability as we continued to make meaningful progress towards becoming an (intellectual property)-driven, high-performing toy company.”

Mattel’s growth outpaced the toy industry, which has been doing well overall, according to Kreiz.

Mattel shares were up nearly eight percent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings report.

Feedback from shops and an early start to the holiday shopping season bode well for Mattel sales in the current quarter, Kreiz noted.

“We had an outstanding quarter with results exceeding our expectations,” said Mattel chief financial officer Anthony DiSilvestro.

“In spite of the pandemic, we have continued to make meaningful progress towards our strategy to restore profitability and regain topline growth.”

It remained uncertain how a resurgence of Covid-19 infections might disrupt company operations or hit the pocketbooks of its customers, the company cautioned.

Mattel had a loss of $3.9 million on its books for the first nine months of 2020, but it was fraction of the $214 million in red ink logged during the same period last year, according to earnings figures.

Mattel’s line-up of brands includes Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price , Thomas & Friends, and Uno.

Worldwide sales in Mattel’s dolls unit overall were $690.5 million, up 22 percent from the same quarter last year due to demand for Barbie, according to the earnings report.

Sales in the “action figures, building sets, games and other” unit climbed 14 percent to $345.5 million.

One driver of the success was a “Star Wars: The Child” toy based on the hugely popular “Baby Yoda” character in Star Wars show “The Mandalorian” on the Disney+ streaming service. (AFP)

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