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Mattel sales miss estimates as Barbie slips, US dollar weighs

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Mattel Inc reported quarterly revenue and profit that missed analysts' estimates as sales of Barbie dolls fell again and a strong dollar ate into revenue from overseas markets.

[BENGALURU] Mattel Inc reported quarterly revenue and profit that missed analysts' estimates as sales of Barbie dolls fell again and a strong dollar ate into revenue from overseas markets.

Shares of the company, which also reported weak sales in its Monster High business, fell as much as 10 per cent in after-market trading on Thursday.

Mattel, which is in the middle of a turnaround plan, has been struggling to revive sales of Barbie, as young girls increasingly prefer interactive electronic toys and tablets.

Sales of Barbie fell 4 per cent on constant currency and 14 per cent on a reported basis in the three months ended Sept 30. This is the eighth straight quarter of declining sales for the 56-year-old Barbie brand.

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Mattel, which in 2014 got nearly half of its revenue from international markets, said a strong dollar also hurt sales.

"Forex will continue to be a headwind across many key markets," Chief Executive Christopher Sinclair said on a post-earnings call.

Mr Sinclair said the results were broadly in line with "our expectations at this stage of our turnaround".

The company said third-quarter adjusted and reported earnings per share reflect the negative impact of 20 cents from the strong dollar.

Mr Sinclair also said the company was "aggressively developing plans to offset the Disney Princess revenue gap".

Smaller rival Hasbro Inc in 2014 won the license to make Walt Disney Co's Disney Princess dolls, including those based on the movie Frozen.

Hasbro will start selling the toys in January.

Mattel's net income fell to US$223.8 million, or 66 cents per share, in the quarter, from US$331.8 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 71 cents per share, below analysts' average estimate of 80 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net sales fell 11.3 per cent to US$1.79 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of US$1.89 billion.

The El Segundo, California-based company's shares regained some losses and were down 3 per cent in extended trading.

Up to Thursday's close of US$22.53, Mattel's stock had fallen about 27 per cent this year.

REUTERS

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