Lego Profit Up 63 Percent

Danish toy maker said profits rose 63 percent in 2009 as sales of its plastic building blocks rose 22.4 percent to $2.14 billion, despite stagnant global toy market.

COPENHAGEN (AP) -- Danish toy maker Lego said Thursday its profits rose 63 percent in 2009 as it managed to boost sales, mostly in Asia and Europe, despite a stagnant global toy market.

Net profit for 2009 was 2.2 billion ($404 million), up from 1.35 billion kroner in 2008.

Sales of Lego's plastic building blocks rose 22.4 percent to 11.66 billion ($2.14 billion) from 9.5 billion kroner the previous year.

The family-owned group does not release quarterly figures.

Its two classic product lines Lego City and Lego Star Wars generated the largest sales in 2009, the company said.

Lego saw strong sales in nearly all markets, adding the strongest growth rates were achieved in the English-speaking markets, Europe and most of Asia.

"Our results in 2009 have been highly satisfactory," Chief Executive Joergen Vig Knudstorp said.

Overall, the global toy market was stagnant in 2009, Lego said, adding there were "great differences" among regions. Most of Europe and Asia saw growth while the British and Japanese markets experienced "considerable decreases," while the U.S. markets saw "a slight decrease."

The Billund, Denmark-based company said it was optimistic that the sales growth would continue in 2010.

"Based on the good results in 2009 and our sales during the first months of 2010, we also expect sizable growth this year," Vig Knudstorp said.

Though the company is not publicly listed, it has published earnings reports since 1997.

More in Supply Chain