Lego grew just six percent in 2016 after years of exponential growth. But, as Lucy Fielder reports, the company is building from a larger base and focused on becoming a global household name.
Lego building a sustainable business one plastic brick at a time. Growth slowing to just six percent in 2016 results released on Thursday. But that's after the Danish toy giant grew by more than 25 percent the year before. Still, if the Lego-mobile braked somewhat, new CEO Bali Padda is upbeat. Reuters' Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen has been on the phone to him. (Soundbite) Stine Jacobsen, Reuters reporter, saying (English): "He said that the growth rates that we used to see were sort of unusual, he actually used the word supernatural. So what we're coming down to now are more sustainable levels for such a big company as Lego is today. One of the surprises was that it didn't manage to overtake Barbie doll maker Mattel as the world's largest toymaker. It came very close, but partly due to the strong dollar it failed and is still number two." Markets in Europe and the United States are saturating, so Lego's looking further afield, opening its first Asian factory in China late last year. Trying to get Chinese and Indian kids hooked on mini figures and building imaginary worlds. (Soundbite) Stine Jacobsen, Reuters reporter, saying (English): "Chinese people don't know Lego as well as we do maybe here in Europe or in the United States, they might not even know brands like 'Star Wars' very well which is one of Lego's biggest franchises." Lego also looking at more digital features to keep up with the times - building figures that can walk, talk, even fart - at the command of an app.