Mattel Inc. surpassed Wall Street revenue and earnings estimates for the fourth quarter and the full year.

The El Segundo-based toy manufacturer posted $4.6 billion in sales in 2020, a 2% uptick from 2019. The company also reported income of $126.6 million, reversing a loss of $213.5 million in the previous year.

 
“In the midst of a pandemic and very challenging market conditions, our results exceeded expectations with another major upswing in top line and a significant increase in profitability,” Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz told analysts during a Feb. 9 earnings call.

 
“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,” Kreiz added.

 
The company’s fourth-quarter revenue was $1.6 billion, up 10% from the year-earlier period, beating analysts’ consensus of $1.6 billion and mid-single-digit growth. Mattel posted net income of $130.5 million in the period, compared to $200,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Barbie stole the show as total gross sales of the doll line increased 19% to $471.1 million in the quarter, “driven by product innovation, cultural relevance and very effective demand creation,” Kreiz said.


Barbie was the top overall toy property globally in 2020, according to a report from New York-based NPD Group Inc. cited by Kreiz, while Barbie Dreamhouse was the No. 1 toy in the United States.

 
“It is exciting to see Barbie go from strength to strength as this incredible flagship franchise continues to inspire consumers around the world,” Kreiz said.


Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand grew 13% in sales to $346.3 million, while gross revenue for the company’s Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends toys increased 9% to $372.8 million.

 
Fourth-quarter net sales for Mattel in North America grew 13% to $779.4 million, while revenue from international markets totaled $704.7 million, a 7% uptick from the same quarter in 2019.


Ecommerce grew by more than 40% versus 2019 and represented about 36% of Mattel’s global online and in-person sales in the quarter.


Mattel’s Structural Simplification and Capital Light Cost Savings programs delivered $43 million of savings in the fourth quarter and $193 million for the full year, Chief Financial Officer Anthony DiSilvestro said during the call with the analysts.

 
The company is also implementing its “Optimizing for Growth” program, which is expected to deliver $250 million of savings by 2023. The gains however will be offset by $55 million to $70 million in severance and restructuring costs, and $45 million to $55 million in investments in information technology enhancements, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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