EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (


) --


(MAT) - Get Mattel, Inc. Report

beat quarterly revenue expectations but earnings were in-line as higher material costs pressured margins.

Mattel said early Friday that strong sales of its iconic Barbie dolls helped it increase third-quarter sales by 9% to $2 billion, thanks in part to favorable foreign exchange rates.

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Net profit came in at $300.8 million, or 86 cents a share, up 6.2% year over year from $283.3 million, or 77 cents

Mattel's quarterly EPS matched analysts' consensus call, while revenue came in slightly ahead of the $1.97 billion expected.

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The toymaker's gross margins fell to 47.8% from 51.1% a year ago, attributed to higher costs for materials like paper and plastic, as well as higher wages being demanded by workers in China where much of the company's manufacturing takes place.

Mattel also said it had increased its stock repurchase program by $500 million.

Investors bid Mattel shares 0.6% lower in premarket trading Friday after the stock closed off by 0.9% in Thursday's session to $27.78.

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Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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