Lego’s plastic bricks shine in gloomy toy market

Sales at Danish toymaker rise 6% to €5bn

A Lego version of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale created to mark Welsh festival St David’s Day last month. Photograph: PA

A Lego version of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale created to mark Welsh festival St David’s Day last month. Photograph: PA

 

Lego bucked the gloomy trend in the toy industry as the Danish maker of bright plastic bricks reported record sales and a rise in profits.

The world’s largest toy maker by sales and profits benefited from strong demand for its sets, such as police stations and Harry Potter locations, lifting revenue 6 per cent to DKr38.5bn (€5.15 billion). Net profit increased 3 per cent to DKr8.3bn.

Lego’s founding family reasserted its control over the privately owned company, installing a representative of its fourth generation – Thomas Kirk Kristiansen – as chairman, replacing former chief executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp.

Last year’s results cement Lego’s position at the top of an industry struggling to combat children playing more with digital devices. Niels Christiansen, Lego’s chief executive since 2017, has stabilised the company and returned it to growth. The group posted its first annual drop in sales and profits in more than a decade in the year he took over.

Outperformed

“It was a strong year where we outperformed the toy industry and grew consumer sales and market share in all our largest markets,” Mr Christiansen said on Wednesday. “Our industry, like many others, is being redrawn by digitalisation and global socio-economic shifts.” – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020