Lego Profit Jumps 31% as Video Game Boosts Toymaker's Salesby
Sales rise 25% as block maker outpaces rivals Mattel, Hasbro
Dimensions game combines computer game with plastic figures
Lego A/S said net income jumped 31 percent last year as a new video game helped Europe’s biggest toymaker combine traditional brickbuilding with console playing.
Net income rose to 9.2 billion kroner ($1.34 billion) in 2015 from 7 billion kroner a year earlier, the Billund, Denmark-based company said Tuesday. Profit outpaced sales, which expanded 25 percent to 35.8 billion kroner.
Lego said sales grew by a double-digit percentage rate in all its regions, including the U.S., faster than the toy industry’s expansion. Its Lego Dimensions sets combine characters such as the Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu with Wonder Woman and Bart Simpson in a game that involves both computers and plastic figures. More versions will come out this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Joergen Vig Knudstorp said.
“We’ll keep looking at new ways integrate the physical and the digital sides of playing.” he said in a phone interview.
Lego, whose annual profit exceeds that of Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. combined, is outpacing the two largest U.S. toymakers, which may be considering a merger. Mattel recently reported full-year sales fell 5 percent to $5.7 billion, and Hasbro has said that 2015 sales rose 4 percent to $4.45 billion.
“Surpassing them in size doesn’t give us any particular joy because we just want to be best at what we do,” the CEO said. “It’s not crucial for us to be biggest. We focus more narrowly on the building block.”
The company added 2,500 employees in 2015, ending the year with more than 17,000.