US toy giant Mattel (El Segundo, California; www.mattel.com
) said sales plunged by 12% year-on-year to USD 1.6 bn (EUR 1.3 bn) for the fourth quarter of 2017, dragged down by a disappointing Christmas business. The net loss during the crucial holiday period amounted to USD 281.3m, and USD 1 bn (USD 318m profit in 2016) for the full year. This was negatively impacted by a net charge of USD 457m related to new US tax laws. Worldwide gross sales for the "Barbie" brand however were up 9%.
"We have taken aggressive action to enter 2018 with a clean slate so that we can reset our economic model and rapidly improve profitability," said Margo Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel. "We are optimistic about stabilising revenue in 2018 anchored by our key power brands, entertainment partnerships and exciting new launches."
Its competitor Hasbro (Pawtucket, Rhode Island / USA; www.hasbro.com
) meanwhile reported fourth-quarter earnings that far exceeded expectations, but sales that fell short. Revenues dropped almost 2% from a year ago to USD 1.60 bn amid cooling demand for "Star Wars" toys. For the full year, sales were USD 5.21 bn (USD 5 bn in 2016) and profit was USD 396.6m, down from USD 551.4m a year earlier, partially affected by US tax charges.
Both toy makers seem to be struggling with the upheaval in the industry brought on by the Toys"R"Us (Wayne, New Jersey / USA; www.toysrus.com
) bankruptcy as well as children's growing preference for electronics and digital games. Toys"R"Us filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada in September 2017 (see Plasteurope.com of 07.11.2017