Lego’s profits fall for first time in 13 years

Denmark's Lego had a difficult 2017, with the building block maker registering a reduction in sales for the first time in 13 years.

Lego's profits fall for first time in 13 years
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Scanpix Denmark

The company's turnover is reported to have fallen by seven percent to 35 billion kroner (4.7 billion euros), with a net result of 7.8 billion kroner (1 billion euros) compared to 9.4 billion kroner (1.3 billion euros) the preceding year.

“2017 was a challenging year and we are not happy with the financial result. But we did have a good finish to the year.

“In December we increased consumer sales in seven of our largest markets, and we have started 2018 with stocks at a healthier level,” CEO Niels B. Christiansen said in a press statement.

The company had already seen growth slow down prior to the latest results, with its leadership concluding growth had been too fast in previous years.

That led to the hiring of former Danfoss CEO Christiansen and a reduction of stock levels, reflected by the sales figures for the company's seven largest markets in December.

“The target in coming years is to stabilise the business through continued investment in fantastic products, effective global marketing and improved operation,” Christiansen said.

“But there are no fast, 'here-and-now' fixes, and it will be some time before we achieve stable growth,” the CEO added.

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Denmark’s toy giant Lego offers staff bonus after bumper year

Danish toymaker Lego, the world's largest toymaker, Denmark's Lego, said on Tuesday it will offer its 20,000 employees three extra days of holiday and a special bonus after a year of bumper revenues.

Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022.
Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022. File photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Already popular globally, Lego has seen demand for its signature plastic bricks soar during the pandemic alongside its rapid expansion in China.

“The owner family wishes to… thank all colleagues with an extra three days off at the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The unlisted family group reported a net profit of more than 6.3 billion Danish kroner (847 million euros) for the first half of 2021.

Revenues shot up 46 percent to 23 billion kroner in the same period.

It had been “an extraordinary year for the Lego Group and our colleagues have worked incredibly hard,” said the statement, which added that an unspecified special bonus would be paid to staff in April 2022.

Lego, a contraction of the Danish for “play well” (leg godt), was founded in 1932 by Kirk Kristiansen, whose family still controls the group which employs about 20,400 people in 40 countries.

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