In 1932 Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish joiner and carpenter, began making wooden toys . The business he established later passed from father to son, and today the founder’s grandson, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and his children own the LeGO Group . In 1958 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of Ole Kirk Kristiansen, made what would prove to be an extremely wise decision . On January 28, 1958, at precisely 13:58 he submitted a patent application for the LeGO® brick that was – literally – to prove to be the cornerstone of a toy fairy tale . At the start of the new millennium the LeGO brick was acclaimed “Toy of the Century” – first by Fortune Magazine and later by the British Association of Toy retailers . It was Founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen himself who hit upon the LeGO name in 1934 .
He took the first two letters of the Danish words LeG GODT, meaning “play well”, and combined them – quite unaware that one meaning of the word in Latin is . . . “I put together” . To this very day “LeGO” is both the name and the concept behind the company . play is a key element in children’s growth and development, and play stimulates the imagination, the emergence of ideas, and creative expression . The aim of the company’s products is to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”, and all products are based on the underlying philosophy of learning and development – through play . It is the LeGO philosophy that “good quality play” enriches a child’s life – and lays the foundations for later adult life . True to its motto “Only the best is good enough”, the LeGO Group has been emphasizing the importance of high quality since 1932 . This approach has brought consumers back to LeGO products time and again .
At the same time the LeGO system means that many thousands of building elements can be easily combined in innumerable ways – and just as readily dismantled again . The more LeGO bricks you have, the more fertile your creativity can become, and there are hours of play in the LeGO brick that you don’t find elsewhere . Child’s play is an everchanging world, and the company’s product development departments therefore work systematically with the evolution of play themes and product lines based on research among children and parents into things like play habits, family patterns and housing conditions . In addition, the combination of a structured system, logic and unlimited creativity encourages the child to learn through play in a wholly unique LeGO fashion .
At a time of growing demand upon children’s capacity for learning and their ability to solve complex problems, LeGO toys are perfectly created for the child of tomorrow . It is for this reason that the LeGO system is frequently cited by many leading organisations and individuals as a specially creative play material used in learning contexts by institutions and schools throughout the world . The child of the future will have plenty of things to play with . Consumer electronics is a tough competitor to traditional toys . But the LeGO Group is in no doubt that the LeGO brick will continue in future to be relevant to children of all ages . A world of imagination and total absorption . putting two LeGO bricks together is intuitive and delivers the spontaneous joy of creation which can be supplemented – but never replaced – by virtual experiences .
The LeGO GrOup 2011
TheLEGOGroup inkeyfiguresThe strong growth achieved by the LEGO Group in recent years continued at the same pace in 2010. The result before tax – a surplus of DKK 4,889 million – exceeded all expectations for the year, and the LEGO Group’s net sales rose by 37.3% from DKK 11,661 million in 2009 to DKK 16,014 million in 2010. Particularly the markets defined by the LEGO Group as special growth areas, the USA, Great Britain, Russia and Eastern Europe, have contributed to the extensive growth, but all the LEGO Group’s markets gained market shares in a slightly increasing global toy market. The classic product lines such as LEGO® City, LEGO® DUPLO® and LEGO® Star WarsTM created the highest sales in 2010. However, nearly all product lines showed higher increases in 2010 than expected.
FocusongrowthThe LeGO Group has seen continued growth for several years, and sales have increased by double-digit rates . This has happened in a global toy market characterized by stagnation for years . The LeGO Group expects continued growth in sales . The foundation for this growth is a constant focus on the company’s core products and markets . In addition, the LeGO Group constantly endeavours to develop the way the collaborative work of all the departments within the LeGO Group comes together in a unique operational system to ultimately design, manufacture, plan, sell and distribute products to customers and consumers . The LeGO Group calls this the “Operating Model” . On the basis of these core activities, seven growth initiatives have been defined: • grow market share in uSa uSA is the world’s largest market for toys, and the LeGO Group has dramatically increased its market share in recent years, to approximately five per cent at the end of 2010 . The LeGO Group believes this share can be further increased in the coming years .
Grow market share in Eastern Europe The toy market in eastern europe is experiencing rapid growth, and the LeGO Group aims to continue to expand its strong position on these markets . • Seed “emerging markets” Markets such as China, Mexico, Brazil and India are expected to see strong growth in the future, and the LeGO Group plans to invest in developing them . • Seed new concepts In addition to ongoing product development based on the existing core portfolio, the LeGO Group will develop innovative new products which are “obviously LeGO® products, but never seen before” . An example of such new products is the LeGO Games board-game series launched in 2009 . • Expand “direct to consumer” activities The LeGO Group currently has direct contact to consumers through its own sales channels, clubs, collaboration programs, etc . The aim is to get even closer to consumers through greater contact and by expanding offers available direct to consumers .
Expand lEgO Education The aim is to create growth in the area of educational materials for preschools, schools and educational institutions all over the world . • Develop digital business The LeGO Group currently operates on digital platforms through the LeGO .com website and video games . Digital business has been further expanded, in particular through LeGO universe – the first MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) from the LeGO Group, launched in 2010 .
The LeGO GrOup 2011