Monster High, Barbie Boost To Mattel's Results

The Associated Press

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Dolls are conquering the world.

Strength of doll brands like Barbie and Monster High around the world helped Mattel's net income rise 16 percent in the third quarter, a positive sign ahead of the all-important holiday season.

Its performance beat Wall Street expectations and shares rose nearly 5 percent in morning trading.

The quarterly results come as toy makers gear up for the holiday season, which can account for up to half of their annual revenue. Toy sales overall have been weak in North America, Europe and Australia, due to a weak video game market, an uncertain economy and continued popularity of electronic gadgets like smartphones and tablets. But Mattel, the largest U.S. toy maker with many popular brands, has fared better than its competitors.

"I am pleased with where we are, as we head into the holiday season," said CEO Bryan Stockton in a call with analysts. "On the sales side we grew revenue in every region of the world."

Barbie, the No. 1 doll brand, reversed four straight quarters of sales decline to increase 3 percent during the quarter. Dolls in general continued to be a strong category, with sales of Monster High and American Girl also rising.

Fisher-Price brands remained a weak spot with flat sales. Hot Wheels also remained challenged with sales down 2 percent.

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