The LEGO Group reported a solid first half of the year with sales and revenue increases driven by growth in original IP and partner brands. The company — which is in the midst of major self-investment — took a hit in profit as it positions itself for future growth.

The company reported a 5% sales increase with revenue spiking 4% to $14.8 billion DKK (approx. $2.2 billion USD. The company says that LEGO City, LEGO Creator, LEGO Friends, LEGO Ninjago, and LEGO Technic were consumer favorites, while LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Marvel Avengers sets “performed especially strongly.”

“We are satisfied with our performance given the transformative shifts, which continue to reshape the global toy industry,” says LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen. “Against this backdrop, we continue to grow consumer sales and market share in our largest markets. This is thanks to our dedicated colleagues who are laser focused on collaborating with our valued retail partners and creating the very best brand experiences for fans of all ages.”

LEGO 2019 First Half Earnings

Operating profit fell 16% to $3.5 billion DKK (approx. $515 million USD) when compared to the first half of last year, notably due to market expansion and other initiatives.

“We’re making upfront investments to create a strong foundation from which to grow in the long term and inspire future generations,” says Christiansen. “This includes opening new markets, expanding in China, creating innovative retail experiences and developing exciting new products and play experiences.”

LEGO continues to see double-digit growth in China, while sales in established markets including Western Europe and the Americas achieved single-digit growth. By the end of the year, the company expects to have more than 140 LEGO Stores in 35 cities across China.

Looking beyond China, the LEGO Group will expand its presence in India and will open a new office in Mumbai.

“We see an opportunity to reach more Indian children and families who value the benefits of learning through play. The growing middle class, importance of education and growing economy make India a logical next step in our efforts to reach many more children around the world,” Christiansen says.

More than 70 new LEGO Stores will open globally by the end of the year, including a new flagship retail location in Amsterdam.

LEGO Hidden Side

The back half of the year is expected to bring further consumer excitement with new lines such as the mixed reality LEGO Hidden Side and fresh offerings from LEGO Star Wars, including product from the forthcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.