The LEGO Group’s investment in physical and digital retail channels paid off in the first half of this year. Although the company did not provide specific statistics, it said ecommerce sales on its proprietary and partner platforms increased by 50% compared to the same period last year.
During the first half of the year, the Group announced an overall increase in its revenue of 46% to around 36 billion US dollars compared to the same period last year. Consumer sales grew 36%, overtaking the toy industry and driving market share growth globally and in all major markets.
At the same time, LEGO’s operating profit also jumped 104% to around US $ 12 billion from the same period last year, despite significant investments in major long-term initiatives such as ‘a new retail store format, e-commerce capabilities, an enterprise-wide digital platform transformation, as well as efforts to make productions and operations more sustainable. Operating profit was also offset by higher freight and raw material costs.
In the first half of 2021, LEGO rolled out a new retail store format that will be introduced to around 60 stores in the second half of this year. The format was unveiled when the flagship store opened in New York City in June of this year and is designed to create immersive, fun and memorable brand moments.
On the retail front, it continued to expand its global retail presence by opening more than 60 new LEGO-branded stores in the first half of 2021, more than 40 in China. This brings the total number of LEGO retail stores as of June 30 to 737, of which 291 are in China.
At the same time, the market groups saw double-digit growth in consumer sales through execution and a diversified portfolio. Top performing themes included LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Creator Expert, and LEGO Technic.
The Group plans to accelerate its investments in the second half of 2021 in a multi-year, company-wide digital transformation. New digital platforms, products and ways of working will support a long-term ambition to digitally enable the LEGO brand to create experiences for consumers, partners and employees. Digital talent centers have been opened in Shanghai and Copenhagen in addition to its head office in Billund and its center in London to support this effort.
At the same time, the company has also made progress on its ambition to create more sustainable products. In June, it unveiled a prototype brick made from recycled single-use PET bottles. It has also successfully completed a trial of paper bags designed to replace single-use plastic in boxes and will gradually begin to introduce the new paper packaging from early 2022. This ensures that the Group stays on track. to make all packaging 100% sustainable by 2025.
Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen explained that digitization and sustainability would play a particularly important role in creating a sustainable future for the company and promoting its mission to have a positive impact on children. . According to him, its year-over-year growth has benefited from fewer COVID-19 restrictions compared to 2020, with its factories operating non-stop and the majority of retail stores having reopened.
âWe have also seen 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 digitization, âhe added.
Going forward, the company expects its revenue growth to stabilize at more sustainable levels over the long term, as consumers return to their pre-pandemic spending habits. Christiansen said this trend, combined with his plans to accelerate reinvestments in the company’s future, should lead to more normalized profit levels going forward.
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