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Lego reports fall in sales


Lego has reported its first annual drop in sales and profits for 13 years.

Lego has blamed the weak performance on “cleaning up” unpopular product lines, as well as a drop in sales in Europe and North America.

Lego Group chief executive Niels Christiansen said there was “no quick-fix” and it would take the firm “some time” to grow long-term. The weak performance comes after Lego cut 1,400 jobs worldwide in September, saying its business needed a “reset”.

Revenue for 2017 dropped by 8% to 35b Danish kroner (£4.2b; $5.8b), compared to 37.9b kroner in 2016. Pre-tax profits slid 18% to 10.4bn kroner in 2017.

“2017 was a challenging year and overall we are not satisfied with the financial results,” Mr Christiansen said.

However, he said the firm’s performance had improved towards the end of the year, with sales growing in seven of its 12 largest markets in December.

The company has been increasing sales in new markets, particularly in Asia. Lego said that it saw “strong potential” in its business in China, where sales enjoyed double digit-growth last year.

“We started 2018 in better shape and during the coming year we will stabilise the business by continuing to invest in great products, effective global marketing and improved execution,” said Mr Christiansen.

In September, Lego said its half-year results had suffered because it had stretched itself too thin by diversifying into products that were not toys, such as the Lego movies. Lego chairman Jorgen Knudstorp said at the time that adding complexity to the company had made it harder for the toymaker to grow further.

He said that the firm had pressed “the reset-button” for the group with the aim of building “a smaller and less complex organisation”