Lego Sales Up 18% On Strong Asia Perfomance
Danish toy maker Lego has reported an 18-percent rise in first-half net profit as revenue grew 13 percent, fuelled by growth in Asia as developed markets stalled.
Lego, now the world's second-biggest toy manufacturer behind Mattel of the US, said its largest markets North America, Europe and Japan had experienced a slow start to the year.
"Despite this tough dynamic, our data indicates that consumer sales of Lego products for the first half of 2013 grew nine percent globally," chief executive Joergen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement.
Revenue of 10.3 billion kroner (£1.5bn) was also boosted by strong holiday season sales last year.
"We needed to restock retailers' shelves with new products, and now stocks are at a more healthy level going into the second half of 2013 providing improved availability for shoppers," Knudstorp said.
Net profit in the first half of the year rose to £268m†from £220m in the same period a year ago.
The "Legends of Chima" range, launched this year, was already one of Lego's most popular lines and had contributed strongly to the first half results, the group said.
The themed products come with a game featuring warring animal tribes and have been especially popular in Asia.
"We have recently located our regional headquarters for Asia in Singapore and we will begin construction of our own in-region manufacturing facilities in China next year," chief financial officer John Goodwin said.
The Friends collection, which targets girls and has been accused by feminists of promoting gender stereotyping, also posted "growth rates significantly higher than the company average."