Popular Danish toy maker Lego records strong global half-year growth in profits, revenue



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HELSINKI — Lego says its popular multi-colored toy blocks were in strong demand around the world in the first half of the year, boosting its earnings and the outlook for the full year.

Net profit in the first six months of 2015 was up 30 percent at 3.6 billion kroner ($543 million) while sales grew to 14.1 billion kroner from 11.6 billion kroner a year earlier.

The Danish privately-owned company said Wednesday it has expanded factories worldwide and "significantly increased investments," resulting in double-digit growth in all regions, with strongest demand seen in Asia.

CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp described the result as "highly satisfactory" and said he expects good earnings for 2015.

"This is especially encouraging since we compare to 2014 when Lego movie products boosted our performance," he said.

Lego, known for its assortment of building blocks for children, also has a host of popular mobile phone apps and theme parks and launched "The Lego Movie" in 2014. The film became the most popular animated feature of the year and significantly boosted sales.

Lego announced in June a 1 billion kroner investment to improve its search for new materials with which to make its toys, which are currently based on petrochemicals. It opened a research center at its Danish headquarters for the purpose.

The company says it had more than 300 different Lego sets on the market during the first half of 2015, ranging from heroic Ninjas to the detailed Technic mobile crane and fantasy theme Lego Elves.

Lego, which is not publicly listed, doesn't release quarterly figures but has published earnings reports since 1997. It is based in Billund, Denmark, and employs 15,000 people, up from 12,500 last year.

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