Lego turns 90 with £8billion in sales as bigger, more complex toys hit big with adults
Lego had stellar sales in its 90th year after releasing bigger, more complicated toys for adults.
The Danish toymaker, founded in 1932, said revenue jumped 17% to £7.8bn last year, while profits rose 4% to £1.6bn .
Chief executive Niels B Christiansen hailed a ‘pivotal year’ as it marked its 90th birthday.
Out of this world: Lego’s Millennium Falcon costs over £700 and has over 7,500 parts
Business has boomed during the shutdowns and demand for its colorful plastic bricks shows no signs of cooling as children and adults are drawn to an increasing number of products.
Bestsellers include classic brands such as Star Wars – the Millennium Falcon costs over £700 and has over 7,500 parts – and Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express costing over £400.
At the other end of the price range, Police Cars, Fire Trucks, and Race Cars cost less than a ten.
New designs such as flower arrangements, replica cars and buildable murals are also very popular. “I’m very happy with our performance,” Christiansen said.
“We achieved double-digit revenue growth and outperformed expectations thanks to exceptional growth last year and despite difficult market conditions.
“This was due to our relevant brand, a fantastic and diverse portfolio, inspiring shopping experiences and the exceptional execution of our teams.”
Lego has also boosted sales by rapidly developing products tied to popular TV shows such as Stranger Things. Just under half of the products sold last year were launched in 2022.
Christiansen said sales swelled partly because shoppers chose bigger and more complicated toy sets, rather than simply because of price increases. Prices have increased by more than 25% in some regions, such as North America and Asia.
Bosses said the latest price hikes in September were not as high as its rising input costs.
90th anniversary: Lego chief executive Niels B. Christiansen hailed a ‘pivotal year’ for the company
Sales are expected to see “single-digit” growth “ahead of the global toy market” this year, Lego said.
Rival Mattel – the US owner of the Barbie toy brand – warned last month that it expected no sales growth this year, while Dungeons & Dragons owner Hasbro also warned of a decline demand.
Lego opened 155 stores last year, taking its global total above 900.
About half of its new stores were in China, a key market. Lego is owned by the billionaire Kristiansen family, with the business being passed down from generation to generation to Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandson of founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen.
The company was founded in 1932 in the small Danish town of Billund, originally as a small carpentry workshop which was forced to turn into a dedicated toymaker due to the Great Depression.
His hometown was where the first Legoland theme 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 attractions empire.
A consortium made up of the Kirk Kristiansen family’s private investment company KIRKBI, Blackstone and CPPIB, the Canadian pension fund, owns Merlin.