Barbie helps Mattel revenue despite Toys ‘R’ Us exit

A girl plays with her dolls. (Facebook pic)

NEW YORK: American toymaker Mattel on Thursday announced better-than-expected first-quarter results — despite the bankruptcy of major retailer Toys “R” Us.

Although revenue fell 3.7 percent to US$708 million compared with the same period a year earlier, the figure beat analyst forecasts and was boosted by a 23.7 percent rise in the firm’s flagship Barbie dolls.

Barbie revenues reached US$153 million, almost 22 percent of total income.

Investors seemed relieved at the results, as California-based Mattel gained 3.65 percent to US$14.49 in electronic trading after the market closed.

The company reported US$30 million in sales lost from the liquidation of Toys “R” Us, an iconic retailer which in March announced it was closing all its US stores, becoming one of the biggest casualties of the retail shakeout amid the rise of e-commerce.

Mattel, which reported a loss of US$1.1 billion in 2017, last week named Ynon Kreiz as its fourth chief executive in four years.

The company has been struggling to turn around a lengthy slump that has seen it overtaken in sales by Hasbro.

“While Toys ‘R’ Us will present a near-term challenge, our transformation plan remains our focus, as we work to deliver improved profitability and return Mattel to its leadership position as a high-performing toy company,” Kreiz said in a statement.