Toymaker Lego looks to build on success in China
Danish toymaker Lego is looking to build on its popularity – and massive sales growth- by expanding production in China, the chief financial officer of the toy brickmaker told CNBC on Thursday.
"We were able to deliver growth of over 35 percent in Asia in the first six months of the year and it's certainly a key focus for us going forward, "John Goodwin toldCNBC's "Worldwide Exchange" on Thursday. "There's a huge amount of children within the Asia region and it's an area that we haven't had a huge focus for the company in the past but we see it as a massive opportunity,"
Lego's revenues surged 13 percent in the first half of 2013, boosted by solid growth in Asia, increasing its share of the global toy market to 9 percent. The firm plans to start construction of a Chinese manufacturing facility in 2014, it said in a statement after releasing its earnings on Thursday.
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"We tend to use traditional construction methods as opposed to our bricks for our manufacturing facilities," Goodwin joked, alluding to the small, colorful plastic bricks used to construct models that have helped to make the company a firm favorite with children since it was founded in 1932.
Goodwin said the manufacturing plant near Shanghai would aid a nearby distribution center to serve its Asian customers. He said the product would remain the same as it is in the U.S. and Europe, adding that the Chinese consumer was "very enthusiastic" about the global product.
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With kids a notoriously discerning market when it comes to toys and trends, the product had to innovate to remain on trend in a fast-moving market, he said.
"It continues to be intensely competitive, it's a very active market and it's one that responds to new product innovation – indeed 60 percent of our product lines are new every year…It's important that you keep the cool factor and keep up to date with consumer inputs. Where those dynamics exist then typically the market is very competitive and the toy market is no different."
- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter