The global toy market remains sluggish, but Danish firm Lego enjoyed a bumper 2013 with greatly increased sales and profit.
It said it should continue to outperform rivals this year, launching new products and expanding in emerging markets.
As well as its colourful, interconnecting bricks, the company has had great success with themed plastic figures.
Sales rose 10 percent to the kronor equivalent of 3.4 billion euros and net profit hit the equivalent of 820 million euros, a nine percent rise.
It is a big turnaround from 10 years ago when Lego was close to financial collapse.
We asked Lego chief executive Joergen Vig Knudstorp how they achieved that?: “Our development teams have been extremely good at reading kids, listening to kids, and really finding the kind of product expressions and concepts and ideas that bring us to the top of the children’s wish list.”
And Knudstorp said it appeals not just to children, which he believes is a recipe for further growth: “We are increasingly seeing many adults – we have seen that for many years – love playing with Lego and I think we will see that because Lego as a brand has existed for so many years, that seniors will also like building advanced Lego sets.”
Sales this year should be bolstered by the runaway success of the recently released animated film based on its bricks and characters.
So where is Lego looking for future growth – movies, video games or smartphone apps?
Knudstorp told euronews the brick still dominates company thinking: “The main thing for us is to focus on our core idea and to continue to reinvent that – and then it’s great that there is a movie and a video game, and it’s certainly contributed very synergistically to our business as well.”
Lego is targeting increased sales outside the developed countries, and the global success of the film should help to strengthen the brand in places where it is not so well known.