Billund, Denmark, September 4, 2018
Developments in first half 2018:
• Global consumer sales grew 1% in the six months to June 2018
• Revenue has stabilised and growth is flat while operating profit is up 4 percent in constant exchange rates compared with the same period in 2017.
• In DKK terms, revenue was 14.3 billion, a decline of 5 percent compared with 14.9 billion in the first half of 2017. Operating profit declined 4 percent to DKK 4.2 billion. Net profit was DKK 3.0 billion, down 10 percent. Cash flow from operating activities was DKK 4.1 billion, compared with DKK 4.6 billion in 2017. These declines were driven mainly by the weakening of the US Dollar.
The LEGO Group today reported earnings for the first half of the year ending June 30, 2018.
In constant currency, consumer sales grew 1 percent, largely in line with revenue growth, reflecting the fact that the Group entered 2018 with healthy inventory levels. Revenue for the period was flat compared with the same period in 2017, and operating profit grew 4 percent.
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.”
Performance in established markets was stable compared with the same period in 2017. In constant currency, revenue in western Europe grew low single digits, while revenue in North America declined slightly, in part due to the changes in the retail landscape. China continues to perform strongly, with revenue growing double-digits in the first six months of the year.
Operating profit in DKK terms was 4.2 billion compared with 4.4 billion in 2017, a decline of 4 percent, driven by the impact of the weaker US Dollar. The LEGO Group continues to build a strong foundation for longer term growth, reinvesting savings from organisation adjustments to product and experience innovation and channel development. The company also continues to expand in strategic markets and will open two flagship stores in China in the coming year, one in Shanghai in September 2018 and a second in Beijing in early 2019. It will also continue to develop its partnership with Tencent, one of China’s largest internet service companies, and follow the successful launch of its video channel in May, with a games product in the second half of 2018.
During the first half of the year the top-performing themes were LEGO Technic, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Creator and LEGO Classic. LEGO City and LEGO Star Wars also continue to be amongst the Group’s biggest themes. LEGO BOOST, which combines building, coding and robotics for younger children, continues to do well. Meanwhile, LEGO Life, a safe digital platform where children can share their LEGO creations in a positive and supportive social media environment, continues to grow and currently has more than four million users in nearly 30 countries.
Christiansen said: “LEGO play is about the endless possibilities of the brick, and that will always be our focus. But we also see exciting potential to bring the brick to life in new ways through blending digital and physical play. For example, we recently launched LEGO DUPLO trains and a LEGO Batmobile which use an app to create new, fun ways to build and play.”
The LEGO Group remains committed to its ambition of reaching more children around the world.
Christiansen said: “We appreciate the great contribution all our colleagues made to stabilise our business. After a challenging 2017, they have shown incredible dedication to deliver on what we set out to achieve and fulfil our ambition of bringing LEGO play to many more children around the world.
“We believe in the benefits of LEGO play to help children develop critical life-long skills, such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Children today will create a future we are only just imagining, so we believe it’s important that they are equipped with skills to help them achieve their potential. That is why our mission, to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow, drives us every day.”
Roar Rude Trangbæk
Press Officer, the LEGO Group