Daily Mail

Lego celebrates 90th year with £8bn of sales

- By Emily Hawkins

Lego raked in bumper sales in its 90th year after launching bigger and more complicate­d toys that were targeted at adults.

The Danish toy maker, founded in 1932, said revenues leapt 17pc to £7.8bn last year while profits rose 4pc to £1.6bn.

Chief executive Niels B Christians­en hailed a ‘milestone year’ as it marked its 90th anniversar­y.

Business boomed during lockdowns, and demand for its colourful plastic bricks shows no sign of cooling as children and adults are drawn to a rising number of products. Best- sellers include classic brands such as Star Wars – the Millennium Falcon costs more than £700 and has over 7,500 pieces – and Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts express costing more than £400. At the other end of the price range, police cars, fire engines and racing cars cost under a tenner.

New designs such as flower arrangemen­ts, car replicas and buildable wall art are also proving popular. ‘I’m very satisfied with our performanc­e,’ Christians­en said.

‘We achieved double-digit top line growth and landed the year beyond expectatio­ns on the back of exceptiona­l growth last year and despite challengin­g market conditions.

‘This was due to our relevant brand, a fantastic, diverse portfolio, inspiring shopping experience­s and outstandin­g execution from our teams.’ Lego has also pushed sales by quickly developing products related to popular TV shows such as Stranger r Things. Just under half of the products ducts sold last year were launched in n 2022.

Christians­en nsen ( pictured) said sales swelled ed partly due to shoppers selecting larger and nd more complicate­d ted toy sets, rather r than just because of price hikes. Prices rices rose more than an 25pc in some regions, gions, such as North America erica and Asia.

Bosses said aid the latest price hikes in September ber were not as high as the increase se in its input costs.

Sales are expected to see ‘singlewth singledigi­t’ growth ‘ahead of the global toy market’ t’ this year, Lego said. Rival Mattel tel – the US owner of the Barbie rbie toy brand – warned last month it does not anticipate any sales growth this year while Dungeons & Dragons’ owner Hasbro has also warned of sinking demand.

Lego opened 155 stores last year, raising its total global total above 900.

Around half of its new stores were in China, a key market. Lego is owned by the billionair­e Kristianse­n family, with the firm passing down through the generation­s to Kjeld Kirk Kristianse­n, a grandchild of the founder ole Kirk Kristianse­n. The business was founded in 1932 in the small Danish town of Billund, beginning as a small woodworkin­g shop that was forced to transform into a dedicated toy maker due to the great Depression.

Its home town was where the first Legoland amusement park opened in 1968, decades before its second opened in Surrey in 1996. Legoland is now owned by Merlin entertainm­ents, which also includes Madame Tussauds and the London eye in its empire of attraction­s.

A consortium made up of the Kirk Kristianse­n family’s private investment firm KIRKBI, Blackstone and CPPIB, the Canadian pension fund, owns Merlin.

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 ?? ?? Out of this world: The Millennium Falcon costs more than £700 and has over 7,500 pieces
Out of this world: The Millennium Falcon costs more than £700 and has over 7,500 pieces

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