* Q2 EPS $0.06; Wall Street view $0.01
* Q2 sales down 19 percent
* Worldwide Barbie sales fall 15 percent (Adds details on Hasbro, sales, cost cuts)
New York: Mattel Inc, the world’s top toymaker, posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it cut costs to make up for a dearth of toys based on summer movies and the impact of foreign exchange.
While both Mattel and rival Hasbro Inc are battling lower demand in the recession, Hasbro is ahead in the movie-based segment this year with toys linked to summer films such as “Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen” and “G.I. Joe - The Rise of the Cobra.”
Net profit for Mattel, the owner of Hot Wheels and Barbie, rose to $21.5 million, or 6 cents a share, in the second quarter from $11.8 million, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average expected 1 cent per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales fell 19% to $898.2 million, Mattel said. The impact of currency exchange rates accounted for 5% points of the decline.
Worldwide Barbie sales fell 15%, hurt mostly by lower overseas sales, the company said.
Mattel has taken elaborate steps — from hosting a fashion show in New York to opening a six-story flagship store in Shanghai — to stoke demand for its iconic Barbie doll, which marks its 50th year in 2009.
The El Segundo, California-based company has cut 1,000 jobs, shaved corporate travel expenses and taken steps to trim advertising and distribution costs in past months as it tries to offset weak demand for toys.
In the past quarter, it cut roughly $91 million of costs in areas such as administration and advertising.
Besides reducing capital spending, Mattel has said it must cut the number of toys it makes to be successful in 2009.
It has said it would rather wait to make toys after determining consumers’ preferences than end up with unwanted products. Even toy retailers have restricted the number of toys on their store shelves to dodge excess inventory and deep discounts.