LEGO reports first sales fall since 2004

CEO Niels Christiansen expressed disappointment with the result but is optimistic for 2018.
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LEGO has reported its financial results for 2017, suffering their first fall in sales and profits in 13 years.

The Danish toymaker has cited “clean-up of inventories” as a reason for the decline and added that global sales were flat, ending the year on an upwards trend. Spokespeople from the firm confirmed that they had also produced too many bricks over the course of the year, leading to a struggle to shift excess stock.

Revenues dropped by 8 per cent to DKr35bn ($5.8bn) in 2017 while operating profit declined by 16 per cent to DKr10.4bn from a year earlier.

Lego Group chief executive Niels Christiansen said there was "no quick-fix" and it would take the firm "some time" to grow long-term.

"2017 was a challenging year and overall we are not satisfied with the financial results," said Christiansen.

"We started 2018 in better shape and during the coming year we will stabilise the business by continuing to invest in great products, effective global marketing and improved execution."

In September, LEGO chairman Jorgen Knudstorp blamed the company's diversification away from toys into films and video games.

He added that the firm had pressed "the reset-button" for the group with the aim of building "a smaller and less complex organisation."

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