By Daniel Hunter

US toymaker Mattel has been hit by struggling sales of its iconic Barbie doll.

Mattel reported a 2.5% fall in sales - it's sixth consecutive quarterly decrease - and a 14% drop in Barbie sales. But the figures weren't as bad as analysts expected, prompting its share price to rise 6.5% in after-hours trading.

The struggling to manufacturer also reported losses of $58.2m (£39m).

The drop in Barbie sales come as such a huge problem for Mattel because they account for roughly a quarter of all its sales.

Mattel fired chief executive Bryan Stockton in January, replacing him with board member Christopher Sinclair in an attempt to revive the 56-year old doll.

"We're starting to see progress with our core brands like Barbie and Fisher-Price, and I am confident we are making the changes necessary to perform better in the future," Mr Sinclair said in a statement on Thursday.