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Mattel reports big loss on weak sales amid virus

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Mattel reported a big first-quarter loss amid falling sales of most of its toys as the coronavirus roiled operations and shuttered many retail outlets.

[NEW YORK] Mattel reported a big first-quarter loss amid falling sales of most of its toys as the coronavirus roiled operations and shuttered many retail outlets.

The toy company, maker of Barbie and Thomas & Friends, suffered a US$210.7 million loss in the three-month period when revenues fell 13.8 per cent to US$594.1 million.

Mattel also joined the plethora of large companies to withdraw annual financial forecasts in the wake of the coronavirus and the uncertain timing on an economic rebound.

The company said its manufacturing and distribution capacity had been "largely restored," including in toy-producing centre China, where some activity had been frozen earlier in the year during that country's coronavirus outbreak.

Sales of Hot Wheels toys rose one per cent, but all other major products fell. This included dolls, which is home to Barbie and American Girl, where sales fell 11 per cent.

Sales at Fisher-Price plunged 28 per cent.

Despite weakness expected to continue into the second quarter, "we are planning for increased demand for our products in expectation of a much-improved second half and holiday season," said chief executive Ynon Kreiz.

Shares of Mattel fell 8.2 per cent to US$7.90 in after-hours trading.

AFP

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