Mattel's Q4 hit by 'deteriorating economic environment'

Worldwide net sales down 11 per cent, international gross sales down 20 per cent, Barbie down 21 per cent.
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Mattel's fourth quarter results have shown that not even the world's biggest toy company is immune from the current economic conditions - revealing a drop in worldwide net sales of 11 per cent, domestic gross sales down six per cent and a dip in international gross sales of 20 per cent in the period.

The company reported net sales of $1.94 billion for Q4, down from $2.19 billion last year.

Worldwide gross sales for core brands during Q4 were also hit - Barbie was down 21 per cent, Hot Wheels dropped 22 per cent and core Fisher-Price was down nine per cent. However, American Girl brands rose by five per cent.

Operating income was $232.4 million compared to $362.1 million in Q4 2007.

Moving into the full-year highlights and worldwide net sales were down one per cent ($5.92 billion) from the prior year, with domestic gross sales down two per cent and international gross sales dropping one per cent.

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

Q4 worldwide gross sales for the Mattel Girls and Boys brand business unit were $1.12 billion, down 17 per cent versus a year ago. For the full-year, the unit took $3.64 billion.

The Fisher-Price business unit, meanwhile, saw worldwide gross sales of $754.2 million for Q4 and $2.36 billion for the full-year.

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