Bali Padda, who was appointed as CEO of the LEGO Group in December last year, has spoken in an interview about the ‘supernatural growth’ that the company has enjoyed over the past few years being ‘unsustainable’. In an interview with Gulf Business, Padda said:
For the past many years we have seen supernatural growth. It has been exciting but also unsustainable in the long term. What we are seeing now is a return to more sustainable growth rates and that is also what we expect in future.
He also said that the LEGO Group’s strategy remains unchanged, sharing comments about the importance of Asia to future plans.
Asia is very important to the group – in particular China has a huge potential, and we continue to see strong growth. The factory in China, which was officially opened in November 2016, will enable us to bring products to even more children across Asia in future. It is however equally important for us to continue working to further build our presence in older core market regions such as Europe and the US.
The continuing strategy also seeks to avoid relying too heavily on licensed products, the CEO said.
We aim to have a healthy balance between our own homegrown product lines and products based on other licenses. If you look at the best-selling themes in 2016, out of the top five only one theme was based on a franchise – LEGO Star Wars. The others were LEGO City, LEGO Friends, LEGO NINJAGO and LEGO DUPLO.
Ultimately, Padda didn’t reveal anything particularly new or shocking in the interview that should reassure LEGO fans that it is business as usual. It is particularly heartening that original LEGO themes continue to be a priority for the company. In fact, the most controversial statement the CEO made might be that BrickHeadz are one of his favourite LEGO lines…