Lego sales up 11% as toy maker continues resurgence

Lego saw its revenues increase 11 per cent in 2013 to 25.4 billion krone (£2.8bn) as the Danish toy maker continues its resurgence after almost going bankrupt a decade ago. 

Video: Lego’s ITV ad break

The figures mark a quadrupling of Lego’s revenues in less than 10 years, which CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp claimed during an event to announce the results today (27 February) came from “innovation”, rather than through acquisitions. Operating profit was up to 8.3 billion krone (£913m) last year, from 7.6 billion krone (£836m) in 2012.

Vig Knudstorp credited the “spirit” of the company for helping Lego to outperform the wider toy market last year. 

“We think we are changing children’s lives forever. The launch of the Lego movie is a great celebration of the Lego spirit. This is a year with great affirmation of that,” he added.

Lego has launched a number of marketing initiatives already this year aimed at raising the profile of the brand, as well as promoting the movie. These include the decision to air the first “all-Lego” ad break on ITV, which featured remakes of ads from brands including Premier Inn, BT and with Lego figures.

Vig Knudstorp expects last year’s strong growth to continue in 2014 as Lego focuses on innovation and launching new products, digital and expanding its global presence in order to increase sales.

He added: “We want to globalise the Lego system. We have found that the brick building system is not just a Danish idea, it is a universally applicable idea that is equally relevant in any culture. That is the opportunity of the company.”

Meanwhile, Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments saw its revenues increase 10.9 per cent to £1.19bn in the year to 28 December in its first results since going public in November last year. Like-for-like sales were up 6.7 per cent while pre-tax profits were up more than £40m to £186m.

The results come after Merlin announced plans earlier this week to open a number of new attractions based on the film franchise Shrek. The first, “Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure” will go live in 2015 on the South Bank in London.

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