Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Lego CEO, said: “Once again the first half of the financial year exceeds our expectations, and the financial result is exceptional – especially in view of general developments in the world toy market. However, it is still too early to provide estimates on the expected result for the full year because the closing months of the year are crucial for our business.”
The company’s most significant launch in 2012 was “Lego Friends”, a product line targeted principally at girls, which has sold twice as many sets as expected during the first half of the year. The company has accordingly increased production to meet the demand for the product in the important Christmas period.
According to Knudstorp, “Lego Friends is a result of four years’ development, and it has been amazing to experience the enthusiastic welcome that consumers have given the new range. Sales have been quite astonishing. With Lego Friends we’ve managed to make creative construction toys more relevant for girls – and we look forward to developing the product line further in the years ahead.”
Lego said that “Ninjago”, launched in 2011 (see Plasteurope.com of 12.09.2011), maintained its success in all markets in 2012, with the ninja theme selling significantly better than expected. Classic lines such as "Lego City" and "Lego Star Wars" are still the group’s biggest-selling product lines.
The increase in sales varied from region to region but was broad based. Sales in European markets rose by an average of just over 10%, while sales in the US increased by 23%. In Asia, sales grew at a faster rate, continuing the trend of 2011. The company said the sharp rise in Asian sales supports its long-term aim of making the region one of its core markets along with Europe and the US.
Lego has been expanding capacity in all areas of its business and said it is likely to hire around 1,000 new employees during 2012. The company’s factory in Monterrey / Mexico has expanded its facilities significantly in recent years. In March 2011, work began on a major expansion of the Lego factory in Kladno / Czech Republic, which will be inaugurated officially in autumn 2012. A production facility is also planned in Nyíregyháza / Hungary, to replace the existing, rented facility in the same town. Moulding capacity in Billund / Denmark will be increased in autumn 2012.
Lego's income statement for H1 2012 as a PDF document