The company’s annual results have been posted today, and discussed by Lego CEO Niels B. Christiansen in a livestream event.
Lego has posted its annual results for 2020, the strength of which will not come as a surprise to anyone in the global toy community. Sales last year grew 13% to 43.7b Danish crowns ($6.98 b), over double the 6% growth which the company posted in 2019. In addition, operating profit rose 19% to 12.9b crowns.
Niels B Christiansen, CEO, said: “We are very pleased with these results. They show the timeless relevance of the Lego brick and learning through play. This performance is also a testament to the passion, creativity and resilience of our people. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, they worked tirelessly to keep the world playing.”
Strong consumer demand resulted in the double-digit growth of consumer sales, revenue, and operating profit as well as substantial market share gains. Strategic investments designed to deliver sustainable growth in the long-term continued.
Niels B. Christiansen commented: “Covid has accelerated trends that were already in motion. More people shopped online and we’ve seen more families at home building together. For the past two years we’ve made large-scale investments in initiatives designed to support long-term growth. In 2020, we began to see the benefits of these investments, especially in eCommerce and product innovation.”
Speaking early this morning to Reuters, Niels confirmed that Lego is planning to hire several hundred new employees to boost digitalisation further in 2021. While he apparently declined to say how much online sales grew last year, he confirmed that the number of visitors on Lego.com doubled to more than a quarter billion in a year.
The firm has increased its number of physical stores by 134, including 91 new outlets in China, its biggest growth market. The company expects to open 120 stores in 2021, 80 of those in China. Consumer sales in all market groups grew double digits, with especially strong growth in China, the Americas, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. Lego gained around 1 percentage point of market share globally, picking up share in most of its key markets.
Strong sales in 2020 were driven by more people of all ages building with Lego bricks. They were inspired by a strong portfolio which offered creativity for all ages and interests. Top themes were Lego City, Lego Technic, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends and Lego Classic.
Lego Super Mario, which uniquely blends digital and physical play, was released in August 2020 and became one of the company’s most successful theme launches. Investments in products that seamlessly blend physical and digital play will continue in 2021 with this month’s release of Lego Vidiyo which taps into children’s love of music and play.
Niels added: “We have a solid digital foundation, but must move faster. The past year has shown the importance of having an agile, responsive business built on strong digital foundations. We will further develop our capabilities in this area so we are well positioned to meet the evolving needs of our retail partners and consumers now, and in the long term.”