The Lego Group says the latest results show that it is now the world’s fourth largest toy manufacturer. Its global market share rose from 4.8 per cent at the close of 2009 to approximately 5.9 per cent at the end of 2010.
Net profit for the year increased to £428 million, compared with £264 million in 2009. Meanwhile, sales for the year increased to £1,844 million from £1,394 million in 2009.
Lego CEO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, commented: "The result is extremely satisfactory and is due in part to vigorous growth in markets such as the USA, UK, Russia and Eastern Europe - all identified as growth markets for the company."
Lego UK has continued to report positive 2010 trading results. Lego UK retail consumer sales grew by 48 per cent in 2010.
The firm increased its UK market share from 4.6 per cent in 2009 to 6.2 per cent in 2010, confirming Lego’s status as the UK’s third largest toy manufacturer.
During the year, Lego UK became the number four manufacturer in total games with a five per cent share.
Lego UK was also the number one Star Wars manufacturer in 2010 with 65 per cent of the total toy licence.
Marko Ilincic, MD of Lego UK commented: “Lego UK has enjoyed phenomenal sales over the past year.
"While it was fantastic to see sustained growth within our classic product lines, such as Lego Star Wars and Lego City, we were equally delighted to see that the launch of our new Lego Harry Potter products further consolidated our market position over the Christmas period.
"It has certainly been a tough few years for the UK retail industry, but with our latest results bucking the trend, we remain confident that we can continue to build on our UK success moving forwards.
"In 2011, we will be focusing on the progression of our Lego Games line and Lego pre-school range, Lego Duplo. However, we are keen to revisit our roots on a regular basis, and will also be looking to develop our relationship with key Lego users through our traditional play lines."
Classic ranges such as City, Duplo and Star Wars were especially popular with consumers in 2010 but the firm says virtually all product lines sold more than expected.
During 2010 the Lego Group continued the process of expanding its production and warehousing capacity. A new warehouse was built at the factory in Kladno, Czech Republic and a new moulding shop is under construction at the factory in Monterrey, Mexico. In addition, design work is in progress for a new administrative building in Billund, Denmark.
These expansions have been driven by recent years’ high growth in sales, and in 2010 the group’s improved in-stock situation meant that it was able to keep retailers’ shelves stocked with Lego products throughout the pre‑Christmas period.
Backed by the present level of investment, the LEGO Group expects to be able to maintain and improve upon the high level of supply reliability for its customers.
To meet the needs of increased production and rising sales, the Lego Group has increased its workforce to an average of 8,365 full‑time employees. This is a sharp increase of 1,079 full‑time employees compared with 2009.
In 2011 a modest growth is expected in the global market for traditional toys and the Lego Group also expects sales to increase during the year – although not at the rate enjoyed in 2010.
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said: "We expect growth both in our primary markets in North America and Europe and in emerging, rapidly growing markets, including China.
"Our classic product lines as well as new themes such as Lego Ninjago have got off to a good start in the new year."