The LEGO Group’s revenue for fiscal 2020 was up 13% to US$7 billion, while other toycos struggled with pandemic-related challenges less successfully. Consumer sales grew by 21%, and LEGO reported a 19% increase in operating profit to US$2 billion, as well as a 19% increase in its net profit to the tune of US$1.5 billion.
The Danish brickmaker’s bestselling products last year included LEGO Star Wars, LEGO City, LEGO Classic, LEGO Friends and its Technic brand, which allows consumers to build real-life machinery like steering systems and gearboxes. The new LEGO Super Mario range (pictured) and the relaunch of robotics-focused LEGO Mindstorms were also significant business-drivers in 2020.
LEGO Group attributes some of its growth to last year’s 10.4% overall increase in traditional toy sales (as measured by the NPD Group) that was triggered by families worldwide staying at home during the pandemic. Its e-commerce platform LEGO.com racked up 269 million visits in 2020, almost doubling its traffic from the previous year.
Families flocked to make-and-do activities during lockdowns, but there was also a surge in the usage of digital options to expand on play experiences. In 2020, the LEGO Building Instructions app generated 5.3 million downloads. And the LEGO Life app, where kids can get ideas and share what they’ve made in a moderated community, attracted more than nine million users and yielded 5.9 million downloads.
Despite the pandemic, the company opened 134 new stores worldwide in 2020 (including 91 in China), bringing its total store count to 678. LEGO plans to open 120 more in 2021, 80 of which will be located in China.
Fiscal 2020 also saw LEGO unveil plans to invest up to US$400 million over three years to speed up its environmental and social responsibility efforts, including making more sustainable products and packaging, and achieving zero waste. It’s aiming to have 100% sustainable packaging by 2025, and has expanded its US LEGO Replay program to also encompass Canada. This initiative aims to encourage kids to donate pre-owned LEGO bricks to kid-focused non-profits.
Looking head to 2021, LEGO is anticipating single-digit growth as it focuses on continued product innovation, e-commerce business development and investment in digitalization.