Five surprising stats buried in LEGO’s 2020 annual report

The LEGO Group’s latest annual report is full of fascinating facts and figures, but here’s a few startling statistics you may have missed – from its website’s incredible traffic to its employees’ Christmas bonuses.

Even if 2020 was a write-off for most of us, the LEGO Group’s financial results show that it reaped the rewards of people stuck at home, looking for alternative ways to fill their time – and using LEGO sets to plug the gap. The company’s sales ballooned by 21%, while net profit reached an eye-watering 9.9 billion DKK (£1.14 billion).

Those are just some of the most interesting numbers in this year’s financial results, more of which you can check out by clicking here. But unless you’ve spent the past 24 hours poring through the report’s 69 pages to scrutinise every tiny detail, there’s probably a few surprising figures you won’t have seen.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing – so here are five impressive numbers buried in the LEGO Group’s 2020 annual report.

5 – 55% of the annual portfolio is brand new

LEGO Ideas 21326 Winnie the Pooh 25

The LEGO Group launches hundreds of new sets, accessory packs, keychains and gear every single year, but you might be surprised to learn that they only account for just over half of its portfolio at any one time.

That’s testament to the longevity of some of the company’s best-selling sets, such as 2016’s 71040 The Disney Castle and 2017’s 75192 Millennium Falcon, which are both still constants in the LEGO Group’s portfolio. Given they both consistently sell out at, though, it’s probably no surprise the company keeps them in production.

4 – Millions of people are embracing digital building instructions

LEGO Building Instructions app

The LEGO Building Instructions app was downloaded 5.3 million times in 2020. That’s probably very encouraging for the LEGO Group, which is starting to move away from paper instructions in themes like LEGO Super Mario – as are the 5.9 million downloads of its kid-friendly social networking app LEGO Life.

It all points to LEGO fans really beginning to embrace the possibilities digital platforms can offer, further backing up the LEGO Group’s commitment to accelerating the wider digitalisation of its business (which will see hundreds of new staff hired in the UK). Of course, this doesn’t mean paper instructions will be going away for good any time soon, but you never know what the future might hold…

3 – doubled its traffic in 2020 storefront

The coronavirus pandemic put a serious dent in brick-and-mortar stores in 2020, with non-essential retail forced to temporarily shut up shop. But as that 21% uptick in sales proves, it didn’t stop people buying LEGO: they just shifted to online shopping instead.

Case in point, recorded a staggering 269 million visits last year, which is almost double its traffic in 2019. And while the storefront is known for being a bit ropey at times, it seems to have handled that extra demand pretty well, largely thanks to a ‘multi-year investment effort’ into the LEGO Group’s online platforms.

2 – The LEGO Group reached millions of kids in 2020

LEGO Build to Give 2020

We’re not just talking about through its sales, because that’s basically a given. More specifically, the LEGO Group reached 3.2 million kids around the world in 2020 through activities including its Build to Give program, its Build and Talk campaigns and collaborations with partners and the LEGO Foundation.

By the end of 2022, the company hopes that number will be as high as eight million per year, in line with its aim to ‘set the standard for responsible engagement with children’.

1 – Every LEGO employee received a Christmas bonus in 2020

LEGO Store Dusseldorf opening

The LEGO Group’s CEO and Board of Directors profited very nicely from the company’s incredible performance in 2020, to the tune of a hefty 40% pay rise compared to 2019. But they also passed at least some of those profits on to their lower-level employees in the form of ‘well-being payments’.

In December 2020, every single employee – regardless of their role, status or location – received a one-off payment of 10,000 DKK (or £1,153.57, based on exchange rates at the time of writing). That’s a very solid Christmas bonus in our books.

The full 2020 annual report has also revealed last year’s best-selling themes, just how well LEGO Super Mario performed, the company’s plans to open more than 100 new LEGO Stores in 2021, and its plans for its fastest-growing market.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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