Mattel Expects Strong Holiday Season As Demand For Barbie Rises

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Comic Con fans gather at the Mattel booth to participate in the opening night of Comic Con International in San Diego, California, the United States, July 19, 2017.

REUTERS / Mike Blake

Mattel Inc raised its full-year sales forecast on Tuesday, expecting sustained and robust demand for its Barbie and Hot Wheels brands during the holiday season despite upcoming price hikes.

Shares of the California-based company rose 5% in extended trading after Mattel also reported a 40% increase in quarterly sales and a surprise profit.

Barbie sales have grown over the past year as people have turned to iconic dolls to entertain their children during pandemic lockdowns, while pressure from Mattel to make them more diverse with different tones of skin and patterns also struck a chord with customers.

Earlier this month, the company unveiled a doll based on quadruple Japanese Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

“It’s more than a doll. It’s a cultural icon and we continue to remain culturally relevant, ”Managing Director Ynon Kreiz told Reuters.

Kreiz has said that Barbie content on Netflix and an upcoming movie starring Margot Robbie will help maintain the brand’s popularity, while a new Hot Wheels video game will do the same for the model car brand.

Aggregate gross billings for Barbie, Mattel’s biggest brand, jumped 46% in the second quarter, while billings from Hot Wheels jumped 67%.

“We are very happy with the upcoming holiday season,” said Mattel’s Kreiz, despite the company’s price hikes in the second half of the year to cover higher costs for commodities and transportation.

The company said it expects constant currency net sales for the full year to increase 12% to 14%, compared to previous forecasts of a 6% to 8% increase. , driven by demand for dolls, cars and action figures.

Mattel reported total second-quarter net sales of $ 1.03 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $ 878.8 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Mattel reported earnings of 3 cents per share, against estimates of a loss of 5 cents per share.


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