Business / Companies

Lego to increase workforce in Jiaxing

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-09-03 14:10

Lego A/S, the Danish toymaker, said on Wednesday that the number of employees at its manufacturing facility in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, will nearly triple to 600 by the end of this year from the current 230.

The factory will be fully operational in 2017, it said, adding that packing activities in a new factory in China will also begin later this year.

"The factory is going to supply our expanding Asian market and will create production capacity that will enable us to reach even more children in the region," Lego said.

The Danish toymaker revealed it has increased first-half sales by 23 percent, helped by growth in Asia. Its revenue increased to 14.1 billion kroner ($2.13 billion), the company said in a statement on Wednesday. In local currency, sales advanced 18 percent, while net income grew 31 percent to 3.55 billion kroner.

"While all our regions experienced double-digit growth during the first half of 2015, it is particularly satisfactory that Asia saw the highest growth rates given the considerable investments we are making there to further the company's globalization," said Lego Chief Commercial Officer Loren I. Shuster.

Lego, whose name is derived from the Danish words for "play well", has said it expects to outpace the global toy market, which is estimated to grow by low-single digits in the coming years. New products generate about 60 percent of Lego's sales every year.

Mattel Inc, the United States multinational toy manufacturing firm, said in July that first-half revenue dropped 4.9 percent to $1.91 billion as sales of Barbie dolls tumbled.

US toy and board game company Hasbro Inc said its sales for that period increased by 0.2 percent to $1.51 billion.

Lego's sales were boosted last year by The Lego Movie, a film by Warner Bros.

The Danish company controlled about 66 percent of the construction toys market last year, while its share of the total toys and games market was about 4.2 percent, Euromonitor estimates.

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