Why everything is awesome for Lego, in four charts

Lego goes against all the stereotypes of a multinational company: partly because it's based in Denmark, and partly because when it comes down to it, it only has one product - little plastic bricks.

But today it posted figures showing that, in the words of the blockbuster Lego Movie, everything is awesome.

Last year represented its 10th consecutive year of growth, with sales up 12 per cent and profits up 15 per cent to 7bn Danish kroner (£690m). In September, it even snatched the "world's biggest toymaker" crown from Barbie maker Mattel.

What makes it so great?

1. Revenues keep on rising


(Data source: Lego)

The company made 28.6m Danish kroner last year, up from 25.3m kroner in 2013. Compare that figure with the past five years, and you could march an army of Lego people up the bars of the resulting chart: that figure keeps on going up.

2. It's the largest Danish consumer brand


(Source: Statista)

With a value of $2.2bn, Carlsberg drops off the end of this chart. Most people have never heard of Maersk (a shipping giant) and Arla (a dairy products company), while Danske Bank is largely confined to Scandinavia - so it's up to Lego and bacon brand Danepak to represent the company abroad.

3. Its operating margin is sky high


(Source: Lego)

It costs $1 (61p) to manufacture each kilo of its plastic bricks, which it then sells on for $75. That goes some way to explaining why Lego has a margin its rivals would give their left arms for.

4. It has a return on equity most brands can only dream of


(Source: Lego, Yahoo Finance)

We've compared Lego to its arch nemesis, Mattel - and then, just for kicks, we've compared it to Apple, widely acknowledged as the most successful company in the world.

As analyst Lousie Cooper put it: "OMG this is a company with a return on equity of 58.8 per cent!!!!!!!!!!! Just for comparison the ROE at HSBC was 7.3 per cent earlier this week. If anyone deserves multimillion pound bonuses it is not bankers but Lego makers. That is an extraordinarily high return on equity. Amazing. This is a profit machine."

So there you have it. Basically, we're with these guys:

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