Thursday 9 March 2017 2:54 pm

Lego reveals ambition to make toys for millions more children around the world

Lego, the world's largest toymaker, said today it had generated the highest revenue in its 85-year history despite a soft European market.

The figures

Revenue rose by 6.0 per cent to DKK 37.9bn (£4.4bn), rising by 5.5 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Operating profit for 2016 was DKK12.4bn compared with DKK 12.2bn in 2015.

Read more: Lego is "not planning any future promotional activity" in the Daily Mail

Cash flow from operating activities fell to DKK 9.1bn from DKK10.6bn.

The firm launched 355 new products over the year

Why it's interesting

Briton Bali Padda took over as leader of the Lego in December 2016. Up until a few years ago a member of the Kristiansen family, that founded Lego, was always in charge.

And Padda had some pretty lofty ambitions, so much so Santa Claus might feel his toymaking role is under pressure:

Our long-term ambition is to provide the opportunity for millions more children around the world to benefit from Lego play experiences, especially in emerging markets.

Read more: Lego announces shake-up with first British boss and plans for expansion

Padda continued: "In 2016, we invested significantly in the talent and infrastructure to enable this sustainable, long-term growth."

Lego labelled the European market as "mature", but Padda said he was encouraged with the group's results in the area. "[We] continue to see strong potential in China, which represents an attractive growth opportunity," he said.

What the company said

Padda added:

We are satisfied with our performance in 2016. We had a strong first half of the year, while consumer sales growth in the second half was at more sustainable levels than previous years.

Innovation is critical to our success and each year around 60 per cent of our portfolio is new products.