Mattel named fastest-growing toy company in Europe

Third-quarter sales growth of 15 per cent places Mattel at the top of NPD’s toy company growth charts in Europe’s big five regions

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 31.10.2019 | Business

Mattel named fastest-growing toy company in Europe thumbnail

Mattel’s worldwide gross sales grew three per cent to $1.657bn in the third quarter, boosted by trend-bucking business across EMEA.

The healthy results, posted yesterday as the toy company revealed the results of a probe into 2017 accounting errors, highlighted EMEA as one of the best-performing regions of the overall business.

Sales in the territory grew 15 per cent for the quarter in stark contrast to the eight per cent decline it saw in the same period of 2018.

Based on this, Mattel was the fastest growing firm in NPD’s Top 5 companies across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – Europe’s five biggest regions.

Sanjay Luthra, Managing Director for the EMEA region says: “These results demonstrate the positive progress of our transformation plan for the EMEA region, as well as our role in the overall Mattel turnaround.

“Despite a challenging European retail landscape, we are gaining share through successful partnerships, as we continue to work closely with our retailers and customers to build strategic long-term solutions while improving omni-channel capabilities and delivering 360 marketing programmes."

Gross sales for Mattel’s global dolls category, which includes the recent launch of the first gender-inclusive doll, Creatable World, are up five per cent, while Barbie grew 10 per cent in the period. The Barbie brand enjoyed double-digit growth across core EMEA regions.

Gross sales of Mattel’s other core brand, Hot Wheels, ballooned by 25 per cent globally and hit high double-digit growth in many European markets, driven by a strong launch of Monster Trucks in the region.

Other highlights include Action Figures, Building Sets and Games categories, with combined global gross sales up 12 per cent, translating into double digit growth for Games category across EMEA.

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said on the call with investors that Toy Story 4 had been the big driver behind action figures, “which continues to do very well following the movie's release”. Forky, a new character introduced to the franchise, was the best seller, just ahead of franchise staple Woody.
Addressing concerns over delayed tariffs on toys imported to the US from China, the chief executive said the company is working “very closely with our retail partners to prepare for the potential implications of tariffs in the short to mid-term”.

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