Following a disappointing 2017 that saw the LEGO Group’s revenues decline by seven percent, things look to be back on track this year, with growth stabilising in the first half of 2018.
That’s according to CEO Niels B. Christiansen, who told Reuters he was “satisfied” with the company’s recent progress. Consumer sales have grown by one percent in the six months leading to June 2018, although revenue has still fallen by five percent overall in Danish crowns, while it’s remained flat in constant currencies – that is, disregarding fluctuations in exchange rates for global sales.
Digging down into more localised markets, Western Europe’s sales have seen a slight, single-digit uptick – the UK in particular – while North America swung in the opposite direction. The LEGO Group’s continued push into the Chinese market has paid dividends, seeing double-digit growth, but it still represents only a small fraction of the company’s overall sales.
Nevertheless, that expansion is expected to continue, with two more flagship stores due to open in Beijing and Shanghai, along with partnerships with both state and private education departments in order to get kids playing with LEGO. “The Chinese appreciate and emphasise that children learn something when they play,” Christiansen said. “There is a really nice fit between China and LEGO.”
Back in March, when the LEGO Group’s 2017 financial results were announced, Christiansen attributed the drop to a “clean up [of] inventories”, promising that 2018 would see him “stabilise the business and invest to build sustainable growth in the longer-term”.