LEGO has recorded increases in both sales and profits for the first half of 2020, facing down the challenges put in place by the Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown measurements across the globe. The Danish toy maker saw revenues for the first half of the year rise by seven per cent to DKr 15.7bn.
LEGO has also seen operating profit rise by 11 per cent compared to the same period last year, hitting DKr 3.9bn. This momentum, according to LEGO’s CEO Niels Christiansen has also continued into the first two months of the second half of the year, suggesting that the pandemic has made minimal impact on the toy brick company.
Consumer sales grew by double-digit percentages in Asia, Western Europe, and the US, fueled, LEGO states, by investments in its online store, as well as new products such as Monkie Kid, its first Chinese-inspired building sets.
“We’ve done it despite Covid-19. Over the last 18 to 24 months, we’ve invested behind our product portfolio, e-commerce, and our brand,” Christiansen told the Financial Times. “Fundamentally, this is paying off. It’s less connected to where stores are closed or there are lockdowns.”
The toy company’s reactions and heavy investments in its own e-commerce has been cited as a major strength of the business throughout the pandemic. A move that enabled the firm to overcome the difficulties imposed during the lockdown period and the closure of a number of its stores, as well as the pause on operations within its Mexico factory, one of the three main global plants used mainly for LEGO sets in the US.
Despite the reliance on the e-commerce platform, the LEGO boss has insisted that it will open 80 new physical stores in China alone this year.
“We don’t believe this is a fundamental setback to stores. They are important for our brand experience,” said Christiansen.
“The strong results are due to our incredible team. When COVID-19 closed stores and offices, our colleagues did everything they could to stay safe and bring play to children and families around the world. I would like to thank them for their extraordinary contribution and their continued fantastic efforts.
“During the first half, we saw the benefits of our investments in long-term growth initiatives such as e-commerce and product innovation. Our strong portfolio appealed to builders of all ages and our recently upgraded e-commerce platform and agile global supply chain allowed us to fulfil online demand. We also collaborated closely with our retail partners to ensure they could continue to supply their shoppers online.”
Across the portfolio, the top-performing themes were LEGO Technic, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Classic, LEGO I Disney Princess, LEGO Harry Potter, and LEGO Speed Champions.
The LEGO Group also launched ‘Let’s Build Together’ a digital initiative designed to bring learning through play to children whose education was disrupted due to the pandemic. Around 90 per cent of school aged children were outside of their usual learning environments during the first half of the year.
Christiansen added: “We are very pleased to see the enduring appeal of the LEGO System in Play and strength of the LEGO brand. During the first half we attracted new builders of all ages who turned to LEGO play to help them through difficult times. More families are playing and learning together with LEGO bricks and we are seeing more adults than ever before enjoying building our more challenging sets.”