Tough times continue in the toy world.
Mattel, the world’s biggest toymaker,said its latest quarterly profit declined as recession hit consumers spent less on their children. Worldwide it sold eight percent fewer Barbies as the doll celebrated its 50th anniversary. Overall toy sales were also down eight percent; that was 14 percent lower internationally, although the US fared better with only a two percent fall. Net profit in the third quarter was 154 million euros from 160 million euro a year earlier. Through the downturn Mattel has concentrated on reducing costs, improving its profit margins and generating cash flow. The company has cut jobs as well as expenses tied to corporate travel and moved to trim distribution and advertising costs. It has also managed inventory tightly.