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Lego reports record sales and a rise in profits

By Ramla Soni

Lego said its sales rose 6 per cent last year to $5.8 billion, up from 3 per cent growth in 2018

Lego defied the trend of the struggling toy industry, reporting record sales and a rise in profits along with new stores and a revamped website.

The world’s largest toy maker said its sales rose 6 per cent last year to 38.5 billion Danish crowns ($5.8bn, £4.5bn), up from 3 per cent growth in 2018. This was boosted by its strong demand for its sets, such as police stations and Harry Potter locations.

Lego estimates the global toy market contracted 3 per cent last year. But it grew sales in all its major markets, including “strong” double-digit growth in China, it said.

The firm, which has 570 stores worldwide, more than doubled its number of stores in China last year to 140. It sees that number rising to 220 this year.

Net profit in 2019 rose just 2.8 per cent to 8.3 billion crowns, partly due to higher expenses, which increased 8.2 per cent.

Lego is also banking on technology to stay up to date with new generations.

It saw 27 per cent more traffic on its recently transformed website, and launched “Hidden Side” last year, which combines regular building sets with augmented reality.

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.

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