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Weak sales at largest US toy maker

MATTEL Inc, the largest United States toy maker, said yesterday that weak sales overseas and cautious orders by retailers led to a larger first-quarter loss that just missed analyst expectations.

Sales fell in most key product categories. Sales of Barbie products fell 5 percent, as a double-digit increase in the US was offset by declines internationally due to the stronger US dollar. Fisher Price sales fell 17 percent, Hot Wheels fell 3 percent and American Girl fell 4 percent.

The toy maker's loss for the quarter ended March 31 totaled US$51 million, or 14 US cents per share, compared with a loss of US$46.6 million, or 13 US cents per share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average expected a loss of 13 US cents per share.

Revenue fell 15 percent to US$785.6 million from US$919.3 million last year. That missed analyst expectations of US$795.8 million.

Sales fell 6 percent in the US and 23 percent internationally. Mattel said about half of its sales come from outside the US.


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