Mattel Inc , the world's largest toy company, reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by favorable exchange rates and strong sales of its Barbie dolls.

However, third-quarter profit at the company was in line with estimates, as higher input costs pulled down gross margins.

Third-quarter net income was $300.8 million, or 86 cents a share, compared with $283.3 million, or 77 cents a share, a year ago.

Net sales rose 9 percent to $2.0 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 86 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $1.97 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gross margins in the quarter fell to 47.8 percent from 51.1 percent in the year-ago period.

(Reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)