Holiday sales helped boost Mattel's profits

Toy maker Mattel saw its profits rise in the last quarter, thanks to strong holiday sales. The company, which is based in El Segundo, saw its sales beat analysts’ expectations.

Mattel beat expectations by 21 cents, earning 89 cents per share on sales of $328.4 million. The company’s annual sales rose one percent over 2008 to $1.96 billion dollars, fueled by sales of the Barbie doll Fashionista line and Hot Wheels cars and accessories.

It’s the first quarter in two years that sales of the Barbie brand went up. The holidays are a crucial time to toymakers, because they can make up to half of their annual sales during the quarter.

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