Mattel Inc suffered a loss in the first quarter as the maker of toys reported that sales had fallen, weighed down by its Barbie.
CEO Bryan Stockton said during the first quarter revenues had been consistent with expectations, while working through inventories in a retail environment that is challenging on a global level.
The toy industry of late has been challenged due to increased interest in tablets and smartphones, which has lessened the appeal of many traditional toys. Mattel has during this time generally been able to post higher sales.
Results lately have been bolstered by the doll line Monster High, which has the characters that are children of famous past monsters with names such as Draculaura. Another strong performer has been the American Girl line.
Overall, Mattel however reported it had lost $11.2 million or approximately 3 cents per share compared to last year during the same reporting period a $38.5 million profit equal to 11 cents per share.
Net sales at the toymaker were down by 5% to end the quarter at $946 million. Analysts expected the toymaker to report profits of 9 cents per share on revenue of close to $953 million.
The company’s gross margin was narrowed from 54.2% to 50.9%. Sales in North America dropped by 2%, while the top line dropped by 7% internationally.
Sales of Barbie were down by 14%, while sales of Wheels, which includes Tyco, Matchbox and Hot Wheels, were off by just 2%. Other girls’ revenue was up 4%, thanks primarily to the Ever After High and Disney Princess, which was offset partially by Monster High.
Fischer-Prices’ preschool line saw its sales slip by 6% while American Girl sales were up by over 5%.
As sales of hand held electronics such as the tablet and smartphone continue to increase, the toy industry could suffer even more going forward due to consumers deciding what is more important or cost effective for them while they continue to struggle through the slowly improving economy and jobs market.