Lego Friends leads Group to "exceptional" H1 growth - ToyNews

Lego Friends leads Group to "exceptional" H1 growth

Toy giant to hire around 1,000 new employees this year after profit leaps 41.7 per cent.
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Lego delivered “exceptional” financial results during the first half of 2012 thanks to stellar sales of its new girl-friendly range Lego Friends.

Sales in European markets rose by an average of just over 10 per cent, as net sales grew 24 per cent year-on-year to £974 million (9.1 billion DKK) and operating profit leapt 41.7 per cent to £306.8 million (2.8 billion DKK) during the period.

“Once again the first half of the financial year exceeds our expectations, and the financial result is exceptional – especially in view of general developments in the world toy market,” said Lego Group CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp.

“Sales [of Lego Friends] have been quite astonishing. With Lego Friends we’ve managed to make creative construction toys more relevant for girls – and we look forward to developing the product line further in the years ahead.”

Lego sold twice as many units of Friends than it anticipated, as revealed by Lego UK MD Drew Brazer in an interview with ToyNews last month, who also said the Group is increasing production to satisfy demand.

The growth enjoyed by Lego is also allowing it to expand even further. Lego says it is likely to hire approximately 1,000 new employees this year, while a brand new factory is planned to open in Hungary to replace an existing rented facility there. The moulding capacity in Billund, Denmark will also be increased in autumn 2012.

A statement read: “The Lego Group has been expanding capacity in all areas of its business in order to be able to meet growing demand. This has taken place in several countries and the development continues in 2012.

“So far the weakening toy market has not had an effect on the Lego Group, which enjoyed double digit growth rates in consumer sales in virtually all Lego markets.”

Lego sales in the US increased by 23 per cent year-on-year.

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