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Lego 2011: Outgrows Hasbro, Mattel as ‘Star Wars’ Sets Boost Profit

Lego A/S, Europe’s biggest toymaker,
boosted profit and market share last year to outgrow its main competitors,
helped by sales of building-block sets based on “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” themes.
Net income jumped 12 percent to a record 4.16 billion
kroner ($747 million) in 2011, the Billund, Denmark-based
company said today in a statement. Revenue rose 17 percent to
18.7 billion kroner.
Lego grew faster than Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., the
world’s largest toymakers, which both reported 7 percent growth
in 2011 sales. The Danish company said today it boosted its
global market share to 7.1 percent from 5.9 percent in 2010 and
that it expects sales to increase this year.
“Growth in the North American market continued
undiminished, and also in most European and Asian markets we
were able to report double-digit increases in sales,” Chief
Executive Officer Joergen Vig Knudstorp said in the statement.
“Sales of license-based product lines in particular were well
above expectations in 2011.”
Lego has bought licenses from moviemakers including
Lucasfilm Ltd. and Walt Disney Co. to base building-block sets
on film characters. Sales of “Pirates of the Caribbean” sets
also exceeded the company’s forecasts.
Lego said the European toy market will be “flat or
slightly declining” in 2012 because of the debt crisis, and
that there will be “modest” growth in the rest of the world.

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