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Barbie boredom stings Mattel sales

Iconic blonde doll Barbie is still failing to attract new fans, her continuing demise hurting Mattel sales in the latest quarter.

Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, has reported a 15 per cent quarter-on-quarter sales decline to US$735.6 million, well short of projections of $790.5 million. Fisher-Price sales fell 9 per cent.

Excluding extraordinary items, the company lost 32 cents a share.

Online market analysis service Seeking Alpha said North American sales fell a staggering 24 per cent, or the equivalent of $141 million.

“To put this in perspective, the entire Asia-Pacific sales accounted for $89 million even after a 17 per cent year-on-year increase. It is sobering to note that it would take 11 quarters with the same growth in Asia-Pacific (+$12.9 million) to counter the drop in North American sales.”

Incoming CEO Margo Georgiadis has conceded the company is underperforming, and the result was greeted with  share price routing of 11 per cent on Wall Street on Friday, taking it to its lowest level in 18 months.

Georgiadis blamed the quarter’s poor sales on lacklustre Christmas sales in North America which has left a glut of inventory in stores.

“We’re confident we’ve worked through those inventory issues at this point,” Georgiadis said in an interview.

Barbie enjoyed some positive quarters in 2016, but in the leadup to Christmas fell 2 per cent.

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