More children than ever experienced Lego Play in 2015 as a result of 19% sales growth.
The LEGO Group continued its global expansion and reached children in all regions of the world in 2015. This was enabled by strong performance of new product innovations, such as LEGOÂ® DIMENSIONS™, LEGO Star Wars™, LEGO NINJAGO™ and LEGO Elves, and a continued high interest in core LEGO themes such as LEGO City.
"2015 was a fantastic year for us as a company dedicated to inspire and develop children through play. Across the year we estimate that approximately 100 million children had a LEGOÂ® experience - be it through playing with great LEGO products, in schools via LEGOÂ® Education materials or by participating in local community activities or receiving product donations driven by the LEGO Foundation across the world," says Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, President & Chief Executive Officer, the LEGO Group.
Key 2015 results
· Revenue growth excluding foreign exchange impacts was 19% year over year on a local currency basis.
· Revenue increased by 25% in DKK to DKK 35.8 billion against DKK 28.6 billion in 2014.
· The year's operating profit increased to DKK 12.2 billion against DKK 9.7 billion in 2014 - an increase of 26%.
· Net profit was DKK 9.2 billion compared to DKK 7.0 billion in 2014 - an increase of 31%.
· Injury rate per million work hours was 1.4 compared to 1.7 in 2014.
· More than 90% of waste from production sites recycled.
· The number of employees in the LEGO Group increased from 14,762 at the end of 2014 to 17,294 at the end of 2015.
John Goodwin, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, the LEGO Group, comments on the financial results:
"We have achieved significant growth in sales every year for a decade now, and it is highly satisfactory that we can deliver yet another year of double digit sales growth. I am excited that we have achieved this growth, driven by innovation and global expansion, while maintaining our focus on product quality and safety. Importantly, we are also seeking to balance our short-term growth with our long-term capability development, as investments in production and organisation capacity have continued at pace in 2015 and will continue in the coming period."
In 2015, children continued to have a high interest in core LEGO themes as well as engaging in new product innovations. Among the top selling lines in 2015 were core themes like LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars™, LEGO NINJAGO™, LEGO Friends and LEGOÂ® DUPLOÂ®. Furthermore, the new fantasy theme LEGO Elves is off to a good start as is LEGO DIMENSIONS™, a new play experience that merges physical LEGO brick building with interactive console gameplay. Like other LEGO video games, LEGO Dimensions is developed by TT Games and published and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
"We are excited that children all over the world loved LEGO play in 2015. We are continuously learning more on how to engage boys and girls around the world in different and exciting ways, such that our innovation brings new engaging and relevant experiences to them every year and helps them to develop essential 21st century skills. When we succeed we are excited not only because of the positive business implications, but even more so because we bring playful learning to millions of children. Play that inspires and develops them. Ultimately that is our ambition and the biggest positive impact we have", says Julia Goldin, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, the LEGO Group, adding:
"I feel confident that by the end of 2016 even more children will have experienced LEGO play. We have a great range of new products for boys and girls of all ages and interests. From the new cool adventures of LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™ where physical and digital play merge seamlessly, to the continued expansion of the LEGO Friends universe, a new take on the LEGO NINJAGO™ series, exciting new LEGO Star Wars™ and LEGO City products, great LEGO DUPLO experiences for the younger children - and a number of other products that all offer a truly creative and fun LEGO experience".
Double-digit sales growth in all regions
All the LEGO Group's market regions achieved double-digit sales growth in 2015 while the traditional toy market in most countries grew by mid-single digit rates.
"Most major LEGO markets achieved sales growth in 2015. In our largest market, the US, sales grew double-digit, which was also the case for other key markets including UK, France, Brazil, China and Japan. In 2015, we maintained our focus on further building our presence in Asia. Our highly valued partnership with our customers around the world made the LEGO brand come alive across offline and online retail channels, enabling us to reach even more children around the world with a LEGO experience," says Loren I. Shuster, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, the LEGO Group.
Investing to make a positive impact
During 2015, the LEGO Group continued investing significantly in order to reach more boys and girls, and furthermore drove activities to support the Group's ambition to leave a positive impact on the planet and society.
"One of the most significant announcements in 2015 was our commitment to invest DKK 1 billion to find more sustainable alternative plastic materials to the current oil-based materials we use today to make LEGO bricks. The announcement in June was a major step on our way towards achieving our 2030 ambition on sustainable materials, and it followed our already intensive efforts to recycle waste, increase energy efficiency, reduce the packaging size and not least, our investment in an offshore wind farm to produce renewable energy," says John Goodwin.
The Sustainable Materials Centre will be built at the LEGO Group Headquarters in Billund, Denmark. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 with the centre opening in 2018. Once completed the centre is expected to consist of research facilities covering approximately 4,000m2.
"It is a complex task to find and implement new materials that do not compromise the safety, quality or durability of our current materials. We are busy building the organisation and we expect to enter into partnerships during the coming years which hopefully means that we will see tangible actions as early as 2017," says John Goodwin.
Continued investments in a more global and diverse organisation
The number of LEGO employees globally has significantly increased during 2015.
"This year we have added more than 2,500 employees to our staff around the world, so that by the end of 2015 more than 17,000 LEGO colleagues of 71 different nationalities worked together globally to bring great play experiences to children. Our employees are the main reason for our success as a company, whether they work in factories producing billions of great high quality LEGO bricks or develop new IT tools that enable our organisation to work more efficiently. Every single employee plays an important role, and should take pride in our results for the past year," says Bali Padda, Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer and head of HR, the LEGO Group.
Also when it comes to embracing diversity and inclusion globally, the LEGO Group has taken significant steps. During the latest years the number of females recruited or appointed to positions as Director or above in the LEGO Group has increased from 23% in 2010 to 43% in 2015.
"The gender balance is only one aspect of diversity. We believe a truly diverse composition of our organisation is required for our success to continue globally. Our ever-growing diverse employee base brings about richer perspectives, which result in better-informed decisions. In 2015, we have implemented guidelines to ensure non-gender biased job postings and interview processes. We also introduced a course for leaders to be more inclusive in daily leadership as well as training on minimising biases in assessing performance and potential of employees," says Bali Padda.
During 2015 a broad range of significant milestones were achieved, supporting the LEGO Group's ambition of building a more global organisation and to bring LEGO experiences to more children all over the world:
The LEGO Group announces a partnership with UNICEF. They pledge to jointly promote the Children's Rights and Business Principles - a 10-point charter that sets out actions companies can take to respect and support children's rights. In this three-year partnership, the LEGO Group has pledged to strengthen the governance of child protection in its own business and share best practices with others in the corporate world.
The LEGO Group celebrates the opening of an expansion of the Kladno factory in the Czech Republic. The new production building covers 50,000 m2, and increases the capacity of the Kladno production facility by 30%.
The LEGO Group announces that it will invest DKK 1 billion and establish a LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre in a significant step up on the 2030 ambition of finding and implementing sustainable alternatives to current materials.
3,000 citizens of Billund, Denmark join in the celebrations during the topping out ceremony at the construction site of the LEGO House. The unique LEGO Experience Centre is planned to open in 2017.
DONG Energy, the LEGO Group and William Demant celebrate the inauguration of the offshore wind farm Borkum Riffgrund 1 which can provide clean electricity for
320,000 households. The opening marks a substantial step towards the LEGO Group's goal to be 100% balanced by renewable energy in 2020.
The LEGO Group announces plans to expand and invest significantly in factories in Mexico, Hungary and Denmark towards 2022 to match the increasing demand for LEGO products. The factory in Mexico will be expanded by up to 190,000 square metres, adding up to 3,000 new employees towards 2022.
The LEGO Group officially opens its new and significantly larger regional main office in Singapore. The new office can house up to 400 employees and enables the LEGO Group to reach more children across Asia in the future.
Roar Rude Trangbæk
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