LEGO announces financial results for first half of 2021

The LEGO Group has announced its financial results for the first half of 2021, with huge growth to revenue, sales and profit compared to 2020.

Last year was already very strong for the company amid the pandemic, with more and more families turning to LEGO bricks to fill time during lockdowns around the world. Revenue went up by 13% on 2019; consumer sales grew by 21%; and operating profit saw a boost of 19% – but those numbers still pale next to the results announced today.

For the six months ending June 30, 2021, the LEGO Group’s revenue increased by 46% compared to the first half of 2020, reaching DKK 23 billion, while consumer sales grew 36% and operating profit ramped up by a staggering 104% to DKK eight billion. Those are incredible stats even compared to just the company’s first-half 2020 results, which saw operating profit increase by 11% on 2019.

LEGO flagship store NYC 1

“We are very pleased with the progress we made across all areas of the business during the first half,” said CEO Niels B. Christiansen. “Our performance was driven by strong demand for our portfolio, which has attracted new builders to the LEGO brand. Our year-on-year growth benefited from fewer COVID-related restrictions compared with 2020 as our factories operated uninterrupted and the majority of retail stores re-opened.

“We also saw the benefits of multi-year investments in e-commerce, product innovation and a global supply chain network. Our strong financial performance now allows us to accelerate strategic investments in sustainability and digitalisation.”

Net profit has also grown by 140%, reaching DKK 6.3 billion. That’s partly thanks to top-performing themes like CITY, Star Wars, Creator Expert, Technic and Harry Potter, according to the company’s interim results statement, which also points out that its double-digit market growth has come in spite of ‘significant investments in major long-term initiatives’.

Those include the new ‘retail-tainment’ store format we’ve already seen open in New York City, and which will soon debut in Barcelona; upgrades to e-commerce, including LEGO.com; and the LEGO Group’s sustainability efforts, including development of the first LEGO brick made from plastic bottles.

Recycled prototype LEGO brick 3

However, while the LEGO Group reacted somewhat negatively to its first post-The LEGO Movie dip in growth in 2017, laying off 8% of its workforce, Christiansen says the company is more acutely aware of how this exponential growth has been driven by the pandemic – and therefore doesn’t expect it to continue forever.

“As we look ahead to the second half of 2021, we continue to see strong demand for our products,” Christiansen added. “Longer-term, we expect top-line growth to stabilise to more sustainable levels as people return to pre-pandemic spending patterns. This trend, combined with our plans to accelerate re-investments into the future of the business, is expected to result in more normalised profit levels moving forward.

“Our investments are designed to create a sustainable future for the business and advance our mission to have a positive impact on children and the world they will inherit. Digitalisation and sustainability will have an especially critical play in this, and we are extremely pleased with the progress our teams are making in these areas. We will also continue to develop our play experiences and brand expression so that LEGO play is diverse and welcoming for all.”

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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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