Mattel achieves ‘best performance in years’ as Barbie and Hot Wheels fuel Q4 and full year success

Mattel bosses have hailed the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results as ‘its best performance in years,’ having beaten all expectations to see Q4 net sales up ten per cent and full year sales increase by 2 per cent to hit $4,584 million.

Sales of the company’s fashion doll brand, Barbie, as well as the continued popularity of Hot Wheels in the Vehicles sector, and Mattel’s portfolio of games fueled much of the fourth quarter success for the company across both its domestic North American and international markets.

Q4 net sales in the North America segment increased 13 per cent, primarily driven by growth across Dolls, Infant, Toddler, and Pre-school, Action Figures, Games and Other. Meanwhile, net sales in the international segment saw a lift of seven per cent.

For the full year 2020, net sales in North America were up seven per cent versus the prior year, but the international market saw a dip of four per cent due to declines in Infant, Toddler, and Pre-school sales, as well as action figures, building sets, and vehicles.

The decrease was partially off-set by growth in the dolls category that was driven primarily by Barbie.

Across the EMEA market, Year on Year growth was 12 per cent in constant currency, representing double digit gains across two of Mattel’s largest markets in North America and EMEA. It’s according to the NPD Group that Mattel outpaced the industry in Q4 last year, growingg approximately five times faster than the industry for the year.

Ynon Kreiz, chairman and CEO of Mattel, said: “This was a banner quarter for the company with our best performance in years. In the midst of a pandemic and very challenging market conditions, our results exceeded expectations, with another major upswing in topline and a significant increase in profitability, as we gained global market share and continued to transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high performing toy company.

“The fourth quarter and full year demonstrated the resilience of the toy industry and the priority that parents place on quality toys, trusted brands and purposeful play.

“Our momentum was driven by the quality and breadth of our product offering, enduring strength of our brands, highly efficient supply chain, world-class commercial capabilities and very effective demand creation, in close collaboration with our retail partners. The continuous improvement in our performance puts us in a strong position from which we believe we can accelerate our growth.

“I could not be more proud of the entire Mattel global team for having stepped up in an extremely tumultuous year to support our consumers, customers, business partners and communities where we live and work.”

Mattel’s CFO, Anthony DiSilvestro, added: “Mattel delivered another outstanding quarter of double-digit growth with broad-based gains across the portfolio and continued improvement in gross margin, and we are pleased with our performance for the full year.

“With a strong finish and positive start to 2021, we are providing guidance for the new year reflecting continued improvement in both our top and bottom line. Mattel also stands to benefit from our newly announced Optimizing for Growth programme and we believe we are well-positioned to continue this momentum.”

The Optimising for Growth programme aims to streamline key processes at the toy maker and is expected to deliver in aggregate $250 million of incremental cost savings by 2023.