Problems for Polly Pocket knock Bluebird

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The Independent Online
Shares in Bluebird Toys lost almost 20 per cent of their value yesterday when the company issued its second profits warning this year.

The group said Mattel, the US toy giant which distributes Bluebird's Polly Pocket toy range (pictured left) outside the UK, would not now be distributing the brand at all in North America next year. It plans to re-launch the collectable toy range in 1999 instead.

Mattel has suffered from overstocking of the Polly Pocket range in recent years and is keen to clear stock and re-invigorate the brand.

Bluebird said the impact of this marketing change would mean current year results were likely to be slightly below market expectations. Analysts are now forecasting profits of pounds 5m-pounds 6m instead of a range of pounds 6.5m-pounds 8.5m. Bluebird shares fell 18.5p to 81.5p.

Investment column, page 24

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