The LEGO Group posts stable financial results

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The LEGO Group has published its financial results for the first six months of 2018, reporting a slight improvement in sales and stable revenue when compared with the same period last year.

This report represents an improvement over the disappointing results of 2017, although some areas for continued development remain.

You can read a few highlights, as well as Niels B Christiansen's comments, after the break...

  • Global consumer sales grew 1% in the six months to June 2018.
  • Revenue has stabilised and growth is flat (based upon constant exchange rates).
  • Operating profit has increased by 4% in relation to the same period of 2017 (based upon constant exchange rates).
  • Growth in the Chinese market was particularly strong while Western Europe saw a slight increase in growth. Growth in the North American market reduced slightly, due primarily to changes in the retail environment.
  • Technic, NINJAGO, Creator and Classic are mentioned among the best selling themes during the first half of this year.
  • CITY and Star Wars also continue to perform well and are among the best selling themes.
  • 10261 Roller Coaster, 42083 Bugatti Chiron and the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom range are described as being particularly successful.

The LEGO Group CEO, Niels B Christiansen said: “Our plan for 2018 is to stabilise the business and invest to create growth in the longer-term. These results show we’re on track and we are encouraged by the early progress. They are due to strong execution by our market teams and compelling innovation, including the successful launches of new products such as the LEGO Creator Roller Coaster, the Jurassic World range and the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron. While we are encouraged by the progress we are making, there is more to do, and it will take time to return to sustainable growth.

“We are especially satisfied with our performance given the challenges of the changing retail landscape, including the closure of Toys R Us in the US, UK and Australia. We are well positioned to capitalise on new opportunities to delight consumers and shoppers across all channels and are particularly encouraged by growth from activities across digital and e-commerce platforms. We will continue to work closely with our retail partners and in LEGO-branded retail channels to create great experiences for consumers whenever and wherever they want to shop or play.

“Our plan for 2018 is to stabilise the business and invest to create growth in the longer-term. These results show we’re on track and we are encouraged by the early progress. They are due to strong execution by our market teams and compelling innovation, including the successful launches of new products such as the LEGO Creator Roller Coaster, the Jurassic World range and the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron. While we are encouraged by the progress we are making, there is more to do, and it will take time to return to sustainable growth."


What is your opinion of these results? Let us know in the comments.

 

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47 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I'm glad that the innovation was brought back to life by LEGO in the first half of the year compared with last year. Many new sets in the last 6 months was indeed full of excitement .

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By in Sweden,

I'm surprised that they didn't mention the sales of the new Wizarding World sets, as they have been selling exceptionally well through the globe.

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By in United Kingdom,

Encouraging news. I do not know if I am in the minority, but I feel that the sets for this year are much more appealing than last year and I understand Lego's success.

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By in United Kingdom,

The paragraph "We are especially satisfied with our performance.." is down twice.

@filippos they cannot really discuss the Wizarding World sets "selling exceptionally well" during the months of Jan-Jun, as they hadn't been released. They will no doubt comment on their sales for the next half year in due time.

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By in United States,

^^^ The wizarding world sets were not mentioned because these are the first half of the years results, wizarding world came out in the 2nd half. I expect we'll see those mentioned next time.

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By in Germany,

I like big sets. But they're so expensive.

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By in Netherlands,

I'm glad to hear TLG is doing well. In particular that their own themes like NINJAGO and CITY are selling well, which I think is very important for the strength of the LEGO brand.

I'm also pleased to see some licensed themes did make a comeback, those sets look great and are priced fairly. I only wish Star Wars sets were a little less expensive.

I would like to know more about licensing of popular franchises and to what degree it affects pricing.

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By in Norway,

Glad I contributed to the growt in global consumer sales the six months to June 2018. Haha.. As always. It must stop.

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By in United States,

I like that Lego is doing better, with Toys R Us closing I thought they might do worse. Hopefully they get back on their feet in the North American market though. Roller Coaster is a great set so I live that it is selling well. Jurassic World had some cool sets so that's also good, too bad the movie was an abomination. Also I want to ask has the Superheros line ever been mentioned is these financial results? I would assume the theme to be a huge seller but it's never mentioned.

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By in Czech Republic,

My take on the Interim report is, thats its just a lot of marketing bluff.. LEGO is still in serious troubles.. a growth by 1 %? Are you serious? Thats more like a statistical error!.. also would be interesting to know in depth, HOW super large Roller Coaster and Bugatti Chiron could so especially contribute (just in 30 days! from their release) to the whole 6 months.. has anyone of you seen one of these two EVER sold out in June on Shop @home? At that time that was the only place (with a few exceptions) where to get them.. and we are talking about the sets over 300 EUR! that is not something that you buy "give me a couple"..

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By in United Kingdom,

"and it will take time to return to sustainable growth."

This is also an interesting statement. Part of their problem was the unsustainable growth they had 2012-2016, which lead to the crash.

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By in Poland,

>42083 Bugatti Chiron
>Succesfull
Ehh, it's a shelf model. It sucks in my eyes.

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By in United States,

Mmm... good. Especially impressive with the loss of one of their main distributors, Toys R Us.

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By in Germany,

@Khscarymovie: I think the SuperHeroes line has not been mentioned because it simply doesn't sell. Other than in the US perhaps, where that stuff seems to be popular for some inexplicable reason. Only thing I know is that over here SuperHeroes sets are constant shelf huggers and dust collectors. Every time I visit the toy stores in our area, SH sets are the ones that don't move. I remember when the original Ant-Man set was talked about as being so rare and collectible. I went to the nearest toy store, bought the three they had (literally with dust on the boxes) at a considerable discount and immediately sold them on to sellers from the US via Bricklink at a nice profit. I had first tried to sell them over here. No one was interested, even at a much lower price point.

Re: Chiron sales success. I call this marketing BS as well. From what I gathered from toy sellers I know, the thing is a very poor seller. I think TLG is trying to bend the facts a la Trump in order to make it seem more desirable. A tactic that doesn't seem to work imho.
Even I, who is a great fan of Technic sets and cars in general, wouldn't consider buying this set. Not even a Lepin/Decool/whatever clone version, that's how bad I think this set is, sorry to say.

@kinggregus: I don't know if you are in the minority or if I am, but imho this year so far has been the worst in years when it comes to LEGO sets. Hardly any set that is more than mediocre, most of them overpriced, with Star Wars sets' RRPs beginning to border on the insane/ridiculous. Never in the last ten years have I spent less on LEGO than in 2018. My wallet is quite happy though ;-)

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By in United States,

The loss of Toys R Us was a profitable one for Lego. TRU was way behind on payments and my understanding is that Lego took a loss on a ton of money owed to them from TRU. Ideally, this will allow them to stock paying stores and their own retail locations better. My fear is that themes like Jurassic World doing well doesn't help long term. Those are 6 month sellers and then they are gone. They need Star Wars, Super Heros, Wizarding World all to do well along with Ninjago and City. The problem is that they need the licensed themes seem to be hit or miss from wave to wave on getting quality sets within reasonable price points.

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By in United States,

Surprised that the Infinity War range did worse than Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I know Dinosaurs are popular amongst kids but the premise of almost the entirety of the MCU in one film I figured would spike sales with kids wanting all the Avengers.

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By in United States,

Glad to hear LEGO is getting back on track, although I hope they don't actually expect tremendous growth year after year; as we saw that leads to a bursting bubble. They should expect and aim for a modest 1-2% annual growth. Just keep plugging along guys, and keep up with releasing excellently designed sets. In my humble opinion I think 2018 has been one of the best years ever as a LEGO fan and collector, especially the Creator line and City sets (ex. latest Minifigure pack and hospital).

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By in Portugal,

@AustinPowers I may be in minority, but DC Super Heroes sets (those from the movies) are what got me into buying LEGO for myself (I used to buy only DUPLO and then Friends + Disney for my girls). And to the Super Heroes i then added Brickheadz, modulars...
And Super Heroe minifigures, especially TLBM and Marvel ones are hugely popular here in Portugal amongst AFOLs.
I do agree with you in your last two paragraphs, though. Especially the last one, this year's sets are highly overpriced, amongst all lines and not only the licensed ones, for example. Less complex, perhaps higher number of pieces but mostly small ones like studs or flowers or things like that, and much higher prices.

Also, I don't understand their market approach. For example, Amazon is putting sets on sale like 1 week after release, stealing a lot of potential costumers from [email protected] I mean, I'm buying sets from Amazon.de and despite the shipping costs it's much cheaper than buying from [email protected] (or even from the Spanish Amazon), not only due to the discounts but also because the LEGO RRP is totally different between European countries (which, in a global/digital market, makes no sense at all). All the profit they are making through Amazon could be directly done by [email protected] if they had a similar approach. [email protected] resembles TrU, and we all know how that ended...
Edit: just to say that the difference of RRP between countries can't be justified alone by differences in consumer taxes.

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By in Puerto Rico,

Encoraging news but I would love it if they expanded the dinosaurs for the Jurassic World/Park line as well as work on the cost of both it and Star Wars

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By in Canada,

I remember seeing that Bottled Ship set on backorder for what feels like two months at the Lego shop.

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By in United Kingdom,

Concerning the Jurassic World and the Bugatti, what they actually state is "including the successful launches of new products such as the LEGO Creator Roller Coaster, the Jurassic World range and the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron".

They don't actually say that they have sold well, just that they were "launched successfully". I haven't a clue what that means. It could be that they have sold well, but then it could also mean that they have released a new product. Both these extremes are "successful launches".

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By in United States,

It's good to hear that things are stable even with the death of Toys 'R' Us throwing the whole industry for a bit of a loop. I'm personally quite glad to hear that Ninjago is still doing well, but I'm a bit surprised not to see LEGO Friends mentioned since it's usually been one of the more reliable sellers in years past.

The real test for this year is whether LEGO can maintain stable performance during the holiday shopping season, since that's when pretty much all toy companies do a lot of their biggest business, and with Toys 'R' Us out of the picture in so many big markets, LEGO will have to adjust some of their usual strategies.

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By in United States,

All right--then what isn't selling. It's something I'm really curious about.

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By in Netherlands,

if lego expanded more to the smaller set price range that would be great.
I'm actually not very happy with lego right now. Lego needs to step up its game with small sets instead of adding lots of small things to large sets that could be impulse builds. I barely bought anything this year because the small sets barely have any effort in them and I don't want to spend hundreds of euros at once. I like to try out a theme before splurging on a big set. And this year I just couldn't bring myself to do either. Small sets are 17 euro if you are lucky and more often than not now start at 20+ euro. SMALL sets! There are barely any 5 euro sets except in themes like city and classic. Here in the Netherlands it just seems wrong to buy from standard sale channels like Intertoys anymore, as the volume of stuff for everything just seems so small for what you get for the price. The dimensions of things don't change. They just get denser! It's only at a 15% discount that things have the chance to be appealing. Sometimes I'm still not conviced at 40% off! And here discounts (especially stock clearance discounts) are rarer than they used to be.
We need a new theme like mixels that isn't an even more expensive minifigure series from the IP of the week. Just small but complete and functional parts packs (and I don't mean a literal parts pack like the Classic line) that might also be a good toy. And no, Brickheadz don't make good toys. They're blocky statues, whether you like their aesthetic or not.

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By in New Zealand,

Lego Group should be doing well....they take a large chunk of my money every year!

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By in Germany,

^^^ That's easy: Seeing as how much they struggle with new releases, be it in stores or (God beware) [email protected], it must feel like a huge achievement to actually get a set out on the shelves. Hence the term "launched successfully"!

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By in Poland,

Well, I know that I did my bit to help...

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By in Germany,

@Brick Dangerous: Funny, I thought the same thing.

@Binnekamp: you're absolutely right.
Plus, what I would give to get Mixels back and BrickHeadz blasted to oblivion. More than double the price, less than half the fun. Hey, that could be LEGO's new slogan for 2018, considering how set prices have exploded and how mediocre many of them have become. I have to think really hard before I can think of any 2018 set that really surprised me in a positive way.
The only 100€+ set I bought this year was the Downtown Diner by the way. And even that is my least favorite of the Modulars that I own. I more or less got it for completionism's sake and because the discount was good.

There's only one 2018 set I really love: 75889: Ferrari Ultimate Garage

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder how much of that is down to the new UCS Millennium Falcon!!!

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By in Netherlands,

I guess "successful launch" refers to the positive attention the sets got in the media.

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By in United States,

@AustinPowers: Ninjago and Elves have continued to deliver fun sets for a good value this year. What’s more, the price range for non-movie Ninjago sets is pretty close to what it was when the theme launched seven years ago, and if anything the amount of stuff you get for those prices has gone UP since then. If you’re bored by current sets maybe you should be paying attention to more exciting themes?

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By in Italy,

@filippos new wizarding world theme is included in the next results as its launch was in August :)

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By in United States,

I think that TRU going away (in the US only) is a convenient scapegoat for LEGO and other toy manufacturers and could mask larger issues. I said two years ago and everyone gave me grief, but LEGO has to watch out for a fall as they have posted, lets be honest, middling results.

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By in United States,

I am happy that Lego is doing well in China especially since of the counterfeiting of the product going on there...

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By in New Zealand,

@madforLEGO - a 4% growth in profit is middling? yeah, nah.

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By in Canada,

@Aanchir - while I can't speak for AustinPowers, I can't get any excitement out of Ninjago. The enemy variety is good, but having this theme keep going and going is just too many ninjas for me. We need the good guys to change once in a while too. I'd say like Chima and Nexo Knights, but I think I'm in the minority for liking those!

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By in Taiwan,

Mentioning Elves, I'm not quite sure if the theme goes much more popular like Ninjago did (yes it continues longer than Mixels and Chima, just not sure if it only manages to reach the gate) I personally thought Unikitty is more the successor to Mixels for the media reason, but we might need the next report to see how it goes.

Speaking of girls, I'm very interested in how Friends reboot affects the market in its first round. There are sure good merits but not sure if small girls are impressed by the changes in both toys and story.

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By in Germany,

@Dorayaki: we have two girls in the relevant age group (6 and 10), who have loads of Friends sets from the very beginning up to this year. I can tell you that the current sets are not what they are interested in. The whole go cart theme is wasted on them. I bought the burger diner which is the only more "neutral" set in that wave, and even that doesn't get their interest. They rather play with their older Friends sets that concetrated on animals, the jungle rescue theme, the fairground etc. They see the go garting wave and say to me "why do they make Friends sets for boys now?", and I can't give them an answer, because I don't get it either. Boys on the other hand don't want those sets either, because they see Friends as a "girly" theme, and no boy would want to be seen dead playing with "girly" stuff in front of his friends. At least the boys I know. Perhaps it is different in other countries.

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By in United Kingdom,

The large changes in Friends range do seem odd and not just the style of sets. My little girl couldn't work out why, for example, the colours of the eyes have changed and is curious about whether people's eyes change colour as they grow older. If they want change, why not expand the character range or have some move away (like in soaps) if they want new ones.

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By in Taiwan,

@AustinPowers Since the main topic is first half 2018, I think only focus on the first wave of Friends reboot would be better on topic. Karting belongs to the latter year.

Yes, I do see the changes in the storytelling part if that is what you mean. I would still say that there are still shops and room sets like the original series did, it's not totally go for boyish adventure sets. There is still room for LEGO to redeem in 2019. I do wonder if animals would return.

@CCC It's more changes in looks in general. Ninjago didn't reboot the story but the looks as well.

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By in Germany,

Yeah, that Friends "reboot" was certainly a bad idea and sure to backfire on them. We'll see if and when Friends creeps back into the bestselling themes.

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By in United Kingdom,

Yeah, I know there were quite dramatic changes in Friends. I can sort of understand changes in storylines. Changes in clothes are similarly fine. Hairstyles, fine. Glasses, fine. Interests, fine. But changes in eye colour seem quite extreme to me, even though the eyes are small, the old are no longer the same person as the new.

I know lego likes to say they have increased diversity, but they changed a white girl with green eyes to a white girl with brown eyes and a white girl with brown eyes to a white girl with green eyes. A ridiculous change in my view, it just leads to confusion.

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By in United Kingdom,

If they want an easy money-maker, they should give us an updated UCS Imperial Star Destroyer or an UCS Republic Gunship instead of that recent abomination lol.

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By in United States,

@CCC: I think Emma is supposed to be Asian, not white, hence the eye color change.

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By in United States,

Glad to see this. Especially given the hit they had to take in the US with TRU’s fall. Lego sounds to be doing much better than Hasbro (which is down a bit but survivable) And Mattel (which is in big trouble and may be ripe for takeover.)

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By in United States,

If LEGO would bring back FARMING for CITY I think they would see even a larger increase in CITY sets. My minifigures are getting sick of eating Pizza, Ice Cream, and hot dogs! Some Corn on the cob, Carrots, apples, bacon, steak, and chicken would be nicer and more nutritious! A Pumpkin patch would be cool too.

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By in United States,

I think "successfully launched" meant that [email protected] didn't freeze up, didn't display "Not Available In Your Country", and they actually stocked more than 10 sets at a time. :P

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