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2016 LEGO Annual Report Highlights

While the LEGO Group is not a publicly traded company, they do release a financial report every year with interesting facts, numbers and insights. According to the 2016 report, which was published at the beginning of March, last year produced the highest revenue in the company’s 85-year history. You can read the full report here, and below I have included some of the highlights, so we can discuss. 🙂

The total revenue for the company in 2016 was DKK 37.9 billion (approximately 5.4 billion USD), compared to DKK 35.8 billion for 2015. That’s a 5.5 increase (excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange). LEGO did make significant investments in 2016, most notably the LEGO House in Billund, and a new manufacturing facility in China. After all expenses, the net profit for the company was 9.4 billion DKK (approximately 1.35 billion USD), which is a slight increase from DKK 9.2 billion in 2015. LEGO paid DKK 3.0 billion in taxes on profit, which is unchanged from 2015. If you like numbers, you can get a more detailed breakdown in the 2016 Annual Report, and 2016 Financial Highlights Fact Sheet here.

CEO of the LEGO Group, Bali Padda said, “We are satisfied with our performance in 2016. We had a strong first half of the year, while consumer sales growth in the second half was at more sustainable levels than previous years. We were encouraged by our performance in mature markets in Europe and continue to see strong potential in China, which represents an attractive growth opportunity. In the US, consumer sales were flat year-on-year despite a significant increase in marketing spend in the second half of the year. We will continue to work closely with our retail partners to identify new opportunities to innovate, drive growth and engage children in this important market.”

It’s interesting to note that while most major LEGO markets experienced growth in 2016, the increase was very unevenly distributed. Sales in North America were slightly down in 2016, as were sales in Japan. All European markets saw healthy high single or double digit growth rates, and the Chinese market continued its strong double digit growth. Hopefully, the release of The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie in 2017 will improve those number for North America.

The top selling lines in 2016 were core themes like LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Friends, LEGO Creator, and LEGO DUPLO. The new theme, LEGO Nexo Knights, that combines physical and digital play through building sets, digital gaming and inspirational storytelling, was also a contributor to growth. Notice that besides LEGO Star Wars, all other best-selling themes are LEGO’s own IPs.

The top five best-selling LEGO products (measured by consumer sales in DKK) are as follows: 1. LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon, 2. LEGO Friends Amusement Park Roller Coaster, 3. LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 4. LEGO Disney Collectible Minifigures, 5. LEGO City Fire Station.

There are some other interesting facts included in the report as well. About 75 billion LEGO elements were sold in 2016 in 140 different countries. LEGO produced 730 million tires during 2016. The LEGO element produced in the largest numbers was the 1×2 plate – 2.7 billion were moulded in 2016. There were 67 colors and 3,700 different shapes in production during the year. LEGO.com has 18 million unique visitors per month, there are 4 million LEGO Club members, and 131 brand retail stores. During 2016, more than 600 LEGO products were available, including 335 new sets. There has been zero product recalls in both 2015 and 2016. A total of 16,836 employees worked for LEGO last year, representing 80 nationalities. This includes 250 set designers from 40 nationalities.

As you can see, LEGO has been doing quite well, even during less certain financial times in the already difficult toy market. As far as future plans, Padda said, “Our long-term ambition is to provide the opportunity for millions more children around the world to benefit from LEGO play experiences, especially in emerging markets. In 2016, we invested significantly in the talent and infrastructure to enable this sustainable, long-term growth.”

What do you think of LEGO’s annual report from last year? Did you notice any other interesting details? How do you think 2017 will turn out? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 🙂

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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Eggbert March 27, 2017, 10:56 AM

    I was just wondering if there has there been any widely publicized reason why LEGO has not gone public?

    • admin March 27, 2017, 12:11 PM

      It is common for traditional companies with a long history to remain private, or to only work with a small group of private and trusted investors. Older generation Europeans are much more conservative when it comes to managing money. For the long-term health and growth of a company, remaining private is much more preferable. Most start-ups can’t afford financing their own growth (or they are not patient enough to grow slowly an steadily) and thus they need the money of other people.

      I have never heard or read LEGO having any unique reasons. They are simply holding traditional European business, family, and money-management values. Through generations of hard work and carefully managed wealth, they have become large enough to finance their own growth. They take one solid and carefully measured step at a time within their budget. The whole “go public and borrow from whomever you can to grow as quickly as possible” is a very American thing. Source: my family is from Europe and think that Americans are nuts. 😉

    • James March 27, 2017, 5:17 PM

      LEGO is clearly making a lot of money already, so what would they have to gain by going public? Meanwhile, going public has the downside of making the company beholden to shareholders who often myopically focus more on short-term profit.

  • Legostuff71 March 27, 2017, 11:46 AM

    I think LEGO is best thing for everyone , It teaches us skills both in building and creativity . As well as inspires us to be creative to a point that teachers use the LEGO bricks as teaching tools in the class room. LEGO has grown so much so fast that it’s almost impossible to think that there is something LEGO can’t do ( or to do with a LEGO brick.) As for a status report, I think LEGO fans have an idea about how well LEGO is doing. Just listen to them, read their inputs that they/ we put in almost daily. The proof is in the pudding or should I say in the bricks.

    • admin March 27, 2017, 12:20 PM

      Good points. I would also add that LEGO is not just a teaching tool, but also a medium of art and expression. People even use LEGO as a way to relax and for therapy. LEGO is very popular with children with autism and similar conditions. It is a way for them to calm down, put things in a structure, and make sense of the world.

  • Legostuff71 March 27, 2017, 12:14 PM

    Ops, I meant annual report and it is interesting .

  • Legostuff71 March 27, 2017, 1:12 PM

    A personal note, I use it for therapy partly because I can ‘t work due to health reasons and it’s depressing when your Limited to do things. LEGO gave me a positive out look on life ( I was in a very dark place). So, probably the reason why I can’t sell some of my sets / parts ( it has a personal value.) I believe NASA uses LEGO parts to make models for there next mission.

    • admin March 27, 2017, 1:32 PM

      Thanks for sharing that. Yes, LEGO can be very helpful when someone is dealing with difficult times. Hope you are doing better and the world looks like a brighter place. 🙂

  • Legostuff71 March 27, 2017, 2:06 PM

    Thanks you , Admin for having a great web site to go on . That to helps a great deal too. I am able to read what’s new in the LEGO world ( Express my thoughts and my opinions numerous times.) which reminds me , I am confused about what’s sets are coming in June and in August. Do you have any ideas ?

    • admin March 27, 2017, 2:27 PM

      Release of the summer sets comes in waves. We will get Star Wars sets in May, then the big bulk of the summer sets we have seen at the Toy Fairs will be in June: http://thebrickblogger.com/2017/02/new-york-toy-fair-new-lego-sets-more/. I believe The Ninjago Movie related sets will be coming in August (these weren’t revealed yet). And there are also the new LEGO Ideas sets that will be spread between the summer and fall. You’re always welcome to share your thoughts and opinion. I definitely find it valuable and insightful, and I’m sure it helps other readers too. 🙂

    • Håkan March 27, 2017, 3:55 PM

      That’s for the USA? The release schedules might vary a bit between USA and Europe (the main markets).

      • admin March 27, 2017, 6:59 PM

        Yes, that’s true. US and other release schedules often differ by as much as two months or even more, and some sets don’t get released in every region.

  • Hayato March 27, 2017, 5:22 PM

    Impressive numbers. I bet lego runs the whole country of Denmark with the taxes they pay! 😀

    • admin March 27, 2017, 6:58 PM

      LOL! Yeah, probably! I know they are good friends with the royal family. 🙂

      • Håkan March 27, 2017, 7:09 PM

        There are a number of business corporations in Denmark. Some of the biggest and most famous are Carlsberg (beer), Ecco (shoes) and Bang & Olufsen (hi-fi equipment).

        • Håkan March 27, 2017, 7:13 PM

          Maersk, transport conglomerate, is also well known among Lego circles for their long-lasting ties to the Lego group, and their exclusive sets with the unique Maersk blue color.

          • admin March 27, 2017, 8:46 PM

            Yes, Maersk blue is a gorgeous color. I wish they would have kept it. Although the modern azures are fairly close.

        • admin March 27, 2017, 8:47 PM

          I haven’t heard of any of those, but I believe you. 🙂

          • Håkan March 28, 2017, 1:31 PM

            They might be marketed more in Scandinavia… =/ They operate on a global scale, though…

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