LEGO Group annual report: sales growth of 19% in 2015

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LEGO presented its annual report for 2015 this morning in Billund.

The key figures are:

  • Revenue growth excluding foreign exchange impacts was 19% year over year on a local currency basis.
  • Revenue increased by 25% in DKK to DKK 35.8 billion against DKK 28.6 billion in 2014.
  • The year's operating profit increased to DKK 12.2 billion against DKK 9.7 billion in 2014 – an increase of 26%.
  • Net profit was DKK 9.2 billion compared to DKK 7.0 billion in 2014 – an increase of 31%.
  • Injury rate per million work hours was 1.4 compared to 1.7 in 2014.
  • More than 90% of waste from production sites recycled.
  • The number of employees in the LEGO Group increased from 14,762 at the end of 2014 to 17,294 at the end of 2015.

You can read the press release at LEGO.com and also download the full annual report as a PDF.

As well as the financial figures a number of interesting facts have also been revealed:

The top 5 bestselling themes in 2015 were:

  • Duplo
  • City
  • Ninjago
  • Star Wars
  • Friends

The top five bestselling sets in 2015 were, in order:

  • Elsa'a Sparkling Ice Castle
  • Millennium Falcon
  • City Police Station
  • Mindstorms EV3
  • Heartlake Grand Hotel

72 billion bricks were sold in 2015, in over 3600 designs and 60 colours, including:

  • 675 million tyres
  • 725 million minifigures

You can view the entire snazzy presentation here.

38 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Those are some impressive numbers. Wow.

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By in United Kingdom,

Do you know how well Bionicle is selling?

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By in United States,

I'm loving seeing two minidoll sets in the top five selling sets.

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By in United States,

I think it is also interesting to note that Elves was mentioned as 'off to a good start'....oh and here Elves is mentioned again...
"This was enabled by strong performance of new product innovations, such as LEGO® DIMENSIONS™, LEGO Star Wars™, LEGO NINJAGO™ and LEGO Elves, and a continued high interest in core LEGO themes such as LEGO City."

This data point I also found fascinating, since I have always wondered how high..

"Each year, new launches account for approximately 60% of the LEGO Group’s sales to consumers."

Fascinating that the top selling set was one targeted at girls!

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By in United States,

^Yeah it's fascinating. Although I'm still perplexed given how mediocre the set was.

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By in United Kingdom,

It's lovely to see Friends doing well - hopefully that will justify their faith in girls as a group to continue designing for.

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By in United States,

I also love seeing that Ninjago continues to be a core line.
I like the fact that a large Friends set is a top seller. It shows that large sets targeted at girls sell, and not just mid sets. I also feel this set had the potential for cross appeal.

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By in Philippines,

It looks like the TLG won't go anywhere as they are too far ahead of their competitors.

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By in Poland,

But there is a huge truth behind Friends - many girls don't have idea they can rebuild the set/only care about Friends as ordinary Toy not building bricks. ANd for me this is big fail on Lego fault.

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By in United States,

I know many girls who rebuild their friends sets...my youngest sister was MoCing just yesterday. On the flip side, I used to babysit and many young boys I knew didn't like to rebuild their sets. It all depends on the jid, not their gender.

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By in United Kingdom,

oh come on Lego! awesome results...have a sale!

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By in Australia,

Great to see they have a rock-solid base with increasing double digit growth. Now they just need to invest in more manufacturing plants around the world to be able to keep up with the obviously increasing demand so as to prevent stock shortages and speed replenishment of active lines.

Interesting information about the themes and sets which are their top sellers as they vary drastically from my (granted limited) sales records.

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By in United Kingdom,

@lordofdragonss, none of my daughters' Friends or Disney Princess sets are in their original state. Every single one has been turned into something else. Not even the minifig / dolls are in their original state, as each have had head / hair / body / leg transplants. They love rebuilding everything and have been creating their own versions of my modulars, with cinemas, pet shops and restaurants all being built using their bricks.

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By in Poland,

Great to hear your kids are creative! Yeah I know some boys also don't like building/rebuilding.
What I wanted to say is Lego is not teaching/showing kids to do so.

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By in Poland,

I don't like such an enormous growth, it actually worries me. It basically means (for us, customers) that TLG's reassurance is becoming enormous too. To the point they can drop in quality and raise prices on a daily basis and no one gets hurt... for now.

So far I haven't notice any drop in quality though, and growing quantity of sets released every year doesn't bother me at all (in relation to "Market Flooded" thread on forum). In fact, being picky about each thing I buy, I actually don't mind being "flooded" with sets. Most of them are useless to me anyway, but there are more I'd really like to have at the same time... and that's a good thing.

I only hope, because no growth at such scale lasts forever, this isn't the beginning of so-called "bubble burst". Sets like Classic TV Batcave and Assault on Hoth point in wrong direction in my opinion. It's hard to tell who are these aimed at. With previous UCS sets that was rarely an issue.

The question is what happens now? Ok, so maybe I'm not that worried in the end. Just curious.

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By in Australia,

TLG isn't a public company, so why would they publicly reveal their annual report?

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By in United States,

Are the bestselling themes in order?

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By in United Kingdom,

It's funny to be reading this at the same time as Robertson & Breen's "Brick By Brick", which tells the story of how TLG almost went under - or rather, stories, because it's ever just one thing; recovery wasn't just about changing one way of doing things either... the contrast is huge and it makes me very relieved that things are going so well. Sure, I worry about rising prices, but on balance I'm happy that the company's in a good place making lots of the stuff I like, and the stuff kids like...

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By in Germany,

No wonder they are raising the prices on popular non licensed themes. They are already producing at capacity limit, so to grow this year they have to make everything more expensive.

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By in Denmark,

How is the information in respect of the top five bestselling sets in 2015 to be understood?

Elsa'a Sparkling Ice Castle
Millennium Falcon
City Police Station
Mindstorms EV3
Heartlake Grand Hotel

As total value for the given set or the actual number of sets sold?

I am very surprised that the rather expensive EV3 is a top-seller.

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By in United States,

Per the fact sheet, the 5 bestselling themes are listed in "random order". The 5 top sets are measured in sales volume (DKK). So, revenue-based, not units sold.

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By in Australia,

"sales volume (DKK)"
is a contradiction though; volume = units sold, DKK suggests financial value

nonetheless, I think 3 out of the 5 top sets could have been predicted (Elsa Palace, MF & Police Station), but the Grand Hotel & EV3 are surprise inclusions - perhaps in part down to the longer life-cycle of these lines, perhaps (vs smaller sets)

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By in United States,

@OuterRimTradingCo: Comparing this result with the press release about LEGO Systems, Inc. (the US branch of the LEGO Group) shows just how much the "top themes" can vary even by region. According to that press release (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lego-systems-records-eleventh-consecutive-year-of-growth-in-us-toy-market-300218844.html), the five "top properties" did not include Duplo and Ninjago but did include Super Heroes and Minecraft. Granted, those figures were compiled by a third-party agency so might not be an entirely accurate reflection of sales, but it's still interesting to compare the global results with those estimated US results. It wouldn't surprise me if when you break things down by individual seller the results might vary even more widely!

I love how much information LEGO has given us about their performance this time around. It's a lot to brag about, of course, but it gives us some insights we don't get every year. The success of City and Star Wars is never surprising, but it's good to see that Ninjago and Friends both remain some of the LEGO Group's strongest themes.

Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle being the top-selling set is pretty interesting considering that the Disney Princess theme as a whole didn't make the top five! I really like the Frozen sets compared to most other Disney Princess sets, so I hope LEGO takes this info to heart and starts tailoring their other Disney Princess products to focus on more than just luxury and romance. I also wonder if them being over a year "late to the party" on Frozen might motivate them to have sets out sooner for the new movie Moana coming out in November. There's no guarantee it'll reach Frozen levels of hype, but I still think it would be in the company's best interest to have sets out in December '16/January '17.

I'm surprised Mindstorms EV3 was one of last year's top five best-selling products, since it first launched three years ago. However, looking at it in the database, apparently it didn't launch in some European countries (including France and Germany) until January 2015, so that could have resulted in a sales spike. Still, with such a high buy-in price it's impressive that it sold so well. I guess that goes to show why LEGO keeps the Mindstorms theme around.

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By in United States,

It's important to realize that the EV3 does not just sell to traditional Lego customers. Educational sales for science and robotic classes, First Lego League, youth organizations like Scouts all contribute to these sales.

The Millennium Falcon is interesting as it was not on sale until September of this year. The Ice Castle was available since January.

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By in United Kingdom,

Impressive! Come on then, TLG, where's my thank you?

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By in France,

With such good figures, they could really improve the LEGO VIP program to give more gifts to their best buyers. 0:-)

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By in Greece,

Ok...where is Technic(I know that only 4%of world sales are from technic)...to be more serious,where is Creator???The best selling set was a minidoll one???That is dangerous,Lego may give more attention to silly "girly"sets as real sets for girls must be the same as the others.I hope the great technic line will change these things in 2016!

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By in Canada,

^ siiiigh.

Very happy to see such success! But I sure hope Lego still plays it smart.

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By in Germany,

A new UCS Falcon will come. The money they will make with it is unreal.

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By in United States,

@brickcar: There's nothing dangerous about the best-selling set being a mini-doll one. There's nothing worse about sets with mini-dolls than about other kinds of sets for the same age range. It's only a bad thing if you think LEGO shouldn't design the types of sets a large number of their buyers clearly want.

Now, if the Ice Castle is not the type of set YOU want, fortunately for you, there are still lots of themes aimed at people who prefer other types of figures and other types of building. LEGO is meant to be for everyone, not just for AFOLs, and certainly not just for people who dismiss anything "girly" as silly. Elsa's Ice Castle topping the list is not an indictment of the types of sets you like, just a reflection of the types of sets a lot of other people like.

Did you notice that Mindstorms EV3 was also among the top 5? As niche as the Technic theme itself might be (probably due to its older-than-average target audience and less universally familiar building system), there are clearly still plenty of people interested in complex technical building.

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By in United States,

@bok2 I've read somewhere that Lego based their top-selling sets based on the revenue, rather than units sold, to get a better perspective on the money that they're earning from it (I think it was when the brick show was talking about the Death Star or something similar).

For example, a toy store could have sold about 100 of Emma's Tourist Kiosk this year, while only selling 10 of the Grand Hotel. (which I don't know, I think would be reasonable given smaller sets are more accessible) Considering the cost of the sets, the latter would be earning almost $300 more. As there are thousands of toy stores that likely have similar statistics, it would add up quickly, and simply counting the units sold would give a warped idea of earnings.

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By in Sweden,

Very interesting indeed.
And, well, we bought 10 EV3 boxes for work / teaching. I haven't bought any other set in such numbers yet, not even Mixels, of which I seem to acquire a lot... So I would suspect that a lot of the Mindstorms sales go to schools and universities, not individuals, which may explain why they sell quite a bit of them,

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By in United States,

So about $1.4 B profit on $5.4 B revenue, if my mental calculator is still working. That's not bad.

What worries me is their growing dependence on Disney. Disney now owns:
- Marvel Studios (Most Marvel superheroes, excluding X-Men, Fantastic 4, Hulk, and Spider-Man, whose movie rights are still currently owned by Sony I believe)
- Star Wars
- Most (all?) things Pixar
- Disney Princesses

Given the unbelievable contrast in quality between the Disney Experience (Disney World and surrounding parks) and Legoland Florida, and the differences between how Lego and Disney treat their customers, I can only hope that Lego continues to maintain enough theme properties that are not dependent on Disney that they do not lose their negotiating power.

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By in United States,

Marvel still owns X-Men, F4, Hulk and Spider Man and such, they just can't make sets based on the movies. Sony owns the Spider Man movie rights but made a deal with Marvel to share. Fox owns the X-Men and all the spinoffs of movies ad F4.

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By in Lithuania,

Main reason for such incredible profit is dirt cheap oil, which is used for making the bricks.
LEGO did not lower the price of sets, instead, they had increased the average price. Thats double effect to better profit.
I would not correlate this profit with better sales of some theme.

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By in Romania,

Well done AFOLs! I for sure bought a lot more lego in 2015...

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By in {Unknown country},

It's interesting how the top five best selling sets are relatively expensive, especially considering like 80% of the buyers are kids(' parents).

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By in Poland,

^ I think it relies on general amount of money spent on these sets and not the quantity.

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