Lego profits skyrocket as it sends toys into space – The Guardian

As Lego toys were blasted into the cosmos to accompany Denmark’s first man in space, the plastic bricks maker reported a surge in its first-half profits.

The Danish company said operating profit for the six months to the end of June rose 27% from a year earlier to 4,607 kroner (£455m). Excluding currency movements, revenue rose 18% to 14.1bn kroner.

Lego said revenue increased by at least 10% in all regions, with Asia experiencing the most rapid growth. Products such as Lego Ninjago martial arts figures and Lego Elves were popular.

The company has designed 26 toys to go into space with Andreas Mogensen bearing the logo of his mission for the European Space Agency. He blasted off for the international space station in a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The figures will be given to children as competition prizes when he returns after 10 days.

Lego has designed 26 toys to go into space with Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen.

Lego has designed 26 toys to go into space with Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen. Photograph: AP

Lego’s financial success and celebrated status are far removed from its plight a little over a decade ago when sales were collapsing and private equity firms hovered around the 83-year-old company. More dynamic management revived the business, which creates dozens of new products every year and taps into parents’ feelings of nostalgia for the product.

The company’s resurgence was underlined last year when the critical and commercial success of the Lego Movie caused a shortage of its products. The Lego Movie Sequel is planned for 2018 and two spin-offs will be released in the meantime.

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Lego’s chief executive, who led the brand’s revival, said: “A strong performance across the entire product range enabled us to deliver a highly satisfactory result for the first half of 2015. It is a great achievement and a result of the hard work of more than 15,000 Lego colleagues around the world. This is especially encouraging since we compare to 2014 when The Lego Movie products boosted our performance.”

The company expanded its global reach with a new packing site in the Czech Republic and a factory in China, which will be fully operational by 2017. In the past five years, Lego’s employee numbers have increased by more than half to exceed 15,000.