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Harry Potter and Star Wars sets help LEGO return to growth in a turnaround 2018

Harry Potter and Star Wars licensed sets have helped The LEGO Group to a four per cent increase in revenue, reaffirming the company’s status as the world’s largest toymaker.

The company’s return to growth rang in at DKr36.4bn in revenue while operating profit also rose four per cent to DKr10.8bn.

Star Wars, Harry Potter, Ninjago and Jurassic World have been highlighted as the company’s best sellers, helping LEGo achieve a stark turnaround from 2017, when it reported it first fall in sales and profits in 13 years.

“We set out with one aim in 2018, to stabilise the business,” said chief executive Niels Christiansen.

“Our underlying mission – what the family wants – is to get LEGO out to as many kids as possible.”

LEGO growth is a success story within a narrative of hardship for the toy industry over the last year, and has emerged despite the collapse of Toys R Us early last year which is still having a knock-on effect for many.

The LEGO Group had achieved double-digit growth for five years until 2017, when the company said it needed a ‘reset’ and cut 1,400 jobs worldwide. Sales in 2017 had been hit due to “too much” stock in warehouses and shops.

LEGO now has its eyes on the Chinese market and will be adding 80 stores to its existing fleet of 60 in the region this year. A new flagship store was opened in Beijing earlier this month and CHina, with 270 million children, was “an ideal place to expand.”

“A lot of the focus in Chia is education,” said Christiansen, as well as families willing to spend on toys like LEGO which ‘build skills like collaboration.’ He added that there “was still scope for growth in developed markets, as there were lots of kids who haven’t played with LEGO.”

Christiansen added: “2018 has been about us starting to make the longer term investments and really getting very close to our retail partners both on and offline to fill some of the voids after Toys R Us and the like.”

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