Everything about Lego’s latest financial results is not awesome

That sinking feeling.
That sinking feeling.
Image: EPA/Dan Peled
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“Overall, management is not satisfied with the financial results.”

For such a happy, colorful company, delivering downbeat news does not come naturally to Lego. Today, the Danish toymaker revealed its first simultaneous decline in profit and sales since 2004.

Sales fell by 8% and profit slipped by 17% in 2017, which CEO Niels Christiansen put down to clearing out excess inventory and other restructuring measures. Last year, Lego cut 8% of its staff, or around 1,500 positions, as a remarkable run of growth came to an end, resulting in some management upheaval at the normally steady family-owned company.

“There is no quick-fix and it will take some time to achieve longer-term growth,” said Christiansen, who took over in October. But even after its recent struggles, Lego remains the world’s most profitable toymaker, outpacing both Hasbro and Mattel by some distance.