Lego has enjoyed stellar success in recent years – but this morning it reported lower growth for the first half of the year.
In a statement this morning, the company said revenues increased 11 per cent to 15.69bn Danish kroner (£1.76bn) in the first six months of the year, up from 14.14bn kroner during the same period last year.
Operating profit inched up to 4.66bn kroner – relatively flat on the 4.61bn kroner it made in the first half of 2015.
Cashflow from operating activities rose to 3.48bn kroner, down from 3.56bn kroner last year.
The company added it had hired more than 3,500 new staff during the period, up 24 per cent on last year. That puts its total at 18,500.
Why it's interesting
Lego is not only one of the world's most recognisable brands – it's also one of the world's most envied. Staff want to work for it, other companies want to be it.
But it looks like its speedy growth has slowed: this time last year, it reported an 18 per cent rise in first half sales, as ranges such as Lego City and Lego Star Wars continued to capture children's imaginations (indeed, so captured are they that its figurines are now officially a trademark).
This morning it admitted to "satisfactory" sales growth, particularly in the US.
"In the US, we acknowledge that we have not provided the initiatives and support needed to keep the same high level of growth," said chief financial officer John Goodwin.
"As a result, we have worked closely with our customers and dialed up our initiatives in the American market, in order to regain momentum."
What Lego said
It is particularly impressive that we continue our high growth in Europe where we have our most mature markets. At the same time, we are very satisfied to see high growth rates for Asia where we are making considerable investments in capacity and capabilities.
The company's stratospheric growth may have slowed – but the little plastic bricks are still building up sales. In short: