Model fire stations and garbage trucks pushed Lego to revive a shrinking toy market with a rise in sales in 2019, as the plastic brick manufacturer outpaced competitors with the latest models of its classic kits, new stores and an improved website.
After a decade of double-digit sales growth slipped to a halt in 2017, family-owned Lego has returned to form since CEO Niels Christiansen took the wheel that year.
The company, which grapples for market share in the international toy industry with Barbie maker Mattel and Hasbro, stated Wednesday sales surged 6% in 2019 to 38.5 billion Danish crowns ($5.7 billion), up from 3% growth in 2018.
Last month, Mattel posted flat annual net sales, while Hasbro, the agency behind My Little Pony, saw net income grow 3%.
Lego forecasts the global toy market shrank 3% in 2019. However, it grew sales in all its major marketplaces, including “strong” double-digit growth in China.
The agency, which has 570 stores globally, doubled its number of stores in China to 140 in 2019.
Christiansen said Reuters he would aim for single-digit revenue growth again this year, to allow for additional investments into IT, new brick and mortar stores and production innovation.
Net profit last year surged 2.8% to 8.3 billion crowns, partially due to higher costs, which rose 8.2%.
Regardless of sturdy sales figures from famous licensed Lego merchandise, including “Harry Potter” and Marvel’s “Avengers”, the best-selling merchandise had been from collections such as Lego City, Lego Classic, and Lego Technic.