Updated 9:30 a.m., Jan. 30, 2015

Toymaker Mattel Friday reported reduced earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the entire year, in part as a result of Barbie’s fading fortunes, and the company’s new chief expressed disappointment.

For the quarter, the company reported net income of $149.9 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to last year’s fourth quarter net income of $369.2 million, or $1.07 per share. For the year, net income was $498.9 million, or $1.45 per share, compared to last year’s net income of $903.9 million, or $2.58 per share.

Some of the losses were attributed to the cost of absorbing MEGA Brands and to the emergence of unfavorable currency exchange rates.

“We are disappointed with our results but moving forward with a heightened sense of urgency to make the necessary changes to enhance our brand relevance and improve our execution,” said Mattel Chairman and Interim CEO Christopher Sinclair, who took over for Bryan G. Stockton on Monday.

“Over the next few months, I will be focused on working with the management team to thoroughly evaluate the business in order to identify how we can improve our top-line performance and drive profitability. I am confident in our ability to revitalize our brands and our business and fully committed to delivering greater value for shareholders.”

For the year, net sales were $6.02 billion, down 7 percent, compared to $6.48 billion last year.

The company said  in reporting worldwide gross sales by its core brands that Barbie was down 12 percent, Fisher-Price was down 11 percent and American Girl was down 4 percent, but Hot Wheels was up 5 percent.

Until recently, Mattel was regarded as the world’s biggest toymaker, a distinction that now belongs to Danish-owned Lego.

For the year, net sales were $6.02 billion, down 7 percent, compared to $6.48 billion last year.

—City News Service

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