Toy-maker Playmates Holdings returned to the black last year, with a net profit of HK$1.27 million despite a slowdown in United States retail sales. The result compared with a HK$86.79 million net loss in 2001 and came as the company said the return of its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had been well received by children in the US. The product range - inspired by a new animated television series - was performing exceptionally well. The initial retail performance of this year's new spring products had exceeded expectations, Playmates said. Its chairman Thomas Chan Chun-hoo said the company had entered into a number of strategic partnerships with leading national and regional distributors to develop its product line. Playmates shares yesterday closed at 48.5 HK cents - 40.85 per cent off their 82 HK cents high on Tuesday. But they are still up 116 per cent since the beginning of the year on speculation the return of the Ninja Turtles will mean a boost for business. Launched in 1989, the product made Playmates Hong Kong's most famous toy maker at that the time and helped it record a net profit of HK$1.22 billion in 1990 - against HK$166.7 million in 1989. Its 1990 share price surged about 800 per cent. Mr Chan credited efficiencies and cost savings for last year's improvement.