Danish toymaker Lego reported strong double-digit growth in China last year, despite the fact that the group reported a 7 percent year-on-year decline for its annual sales revenue globally in 2017, according to the group's fiscal results released on Tuesday.
With the robust growth in China, the group's CEO Niels B. Christiansen said the company will continue to open more stores in China, showing its commitment of further expanding its presence in the market.
In mid-January, Lego announced a partnership with Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, which includes the development of a Lego video zone for children on the Tencent video platform, publication and operation for Lego branded licensed games and the online operation system for Lego Boost series products, and joint development of Lego Life – the social network for children.
Lego opened its flagship store in Shanghai in 2016, the first of its kind in the country. According to Jacob Kragh, general manager of Lego in China, the company's brand stores will be a promising distribution channel for Lego in the upcoming years in China, while e-commerce platforms and traditional toy retailers will be the other two important distribution channels for Lego.
Turnover of Lego group came at DKK 35 billion (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the year 2017, according to the fiscal report. The group registered an annual net profit of DKK 7.8 billion (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, down from the DKK 9.4 billion (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) a year earlier. It is the first time in 13 years that Lego has reported a sales decrease.
The contracted revenue of the group can be largely attributed to the declined results in established markets such as North America and Europe. However, Christiansen said that sales in these markets picked up in the final months of last year and they have positioned themselves well for 2018 as inventories have been substantially cleaned up.