Lego says it has benefited from its multichannel investments as digitalisation and ecommerce gained pace during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The toy brand, which sells via this week announced rising sales in the first half of its financial year as adults and children alike turned to its products during lockdowns. Revenues grew by 7% to DKK 15.7bn (£1.85bn) in the six months to the end of June, compared to the same time last year, with sales to consumers up by 14% on last year. Operating profits were 11% up at DKK 3.9bn (£0.46bn) but net profit fell by 1% to DKK 2.6bn (£0.31bn) after long-term investments and higher freight costs.
Lego Group chief executive Niels B Christiansen said: “During the first half, we saw the benefits of our investments in long-term growth initiatives such as ecommerce and product innovation. Our strong portfolio appealed to builders of all ages and our recently upgraded ecommerce platform and agile global supply chain allowed us to fulfil online demand. We also collaborated closely with our retail partners to ensure they could continue to supply their shoppers online.”
Sales were strong across markets including the Americas, Western Europe, Asia Pacific and China, although freight costs rose following government-ordered factory shutdowns in Mexico and China.
Visits to its ecommerce platform doubled to more than 100m in the first half, on the same time last year. There were two million downloads of Lego digital building instructions, while content was shared on its safe play app Lego Life every two seconds. New product launches included Lego SuperMario, which blends digital and physical play.
Christiansen added: “Many of the major trends shaping our industry, such as digitalisation and e-commerce, are accelerating as a result of the pandemic. We saw strong growth in digital and traditional play, a rapid shift to ecommerce and the importance of having a truly global operating model.”
But he said stores would continue to be important in its omnichannel retail strategy, and it now expects to open 120 new shops in 2020, including 80 in China – of which 30 opened during the first half.
“While retail has been transformed during the past six months, we continue to see great opportunity for an omnichannel model," said Christiansen. "We will continue to invest in upgrading our ecommerce capabilities to support both our retail partners and own platform and continue to invest in creating fantastic physical brand experiences for shoppers and fans.”