LEGO, Europe's biggest toymaker, boosted profit and market share last year to outgrow its main competitors, helped by sales of building-block sets based on 'Star Wars' and 'Harry Potter' themes.
Net income jumped 12pc to a record kr4.16bn (€560m) in 2011, the Billund, Denmark-based company said yesterday in a statement. Revenue rose 17pc to kr18.7bn.
Lego grew faster than Mattel and Hasbro, the world's largest toymakers, which both reported 7pc growth in 2011 sales. The Danish company said it boosted its global market share to 7.1pc from 5.9pc in 2010 and that it expects sales to increase this year.
"Growth in the North American market continued undiminished, and also in most European and Asian markets we were able to report double-digit increases in sales," CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp said in the statement. "Sales of licence-based product lines in particular were well above expectations in 2011."
Lego has bought licences from moviemakers including Lucasfilm and Walt Disney to base building-block sets on film characters. Sales of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sets also exceeded the company's forecasts.
Lego said the European toy market will be "flat or slightly declining" in 2012 because of the debt crisis, and that there will be "modest" growth in the rest of the world. (Bloomberg)