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Financial News
Posted by Purple_Dave on March 24, 2002 at 11:49 PM CST:
LEGO® Company Announces Strong 2001 Performance in North America
2002-03-20 08:14 (New York)


Business Editors

ENFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 20, 2002--

-Growth led by BIONICLE™, Harry Potter™ and classic theme novelties is part of larger strategy to double Americas business by 2005-

The LEGO® Company announces it has increased its sales to North American consumers by 14% over 2000. North America contributed significantly to the Company's global result before tax of approximately $66 million (DKK 530 million). Results account for all aspects of the Company's business, including toys, direct-to-consumer sales, LEGO® Brand Retail stores and LEGOLAND® Parks.

LEGO Americas president, Andrew Black, has an ambitious goal for the Americas over the next three years.

"We have identified a clear path to grow the business in the U.S. and Canada. Our goal is to double the business by 2005, and we plan to achieve this by launching innovative new products and marketing, like we did with BIONICLE™ last year, and by establishing presence in new areas like action figures and preschool," Black says.

Leading the strong growth in 2001 was the introduction of BIONICLE™, combining construction with collectibility and strong storytelling in an action figure form. LEGO® Harry Potter™ quickly became the Company's strongest new product launch ever, while LEGO® Bob the Builder™ became the best-selling LEGO® Preschool line in Americas history. LEGO® Life on Mars exceeded expectations, and the LEGO® Soccer Championship Challenge remained the number-one LEGO® item in the Americas, even in its second holiday season.

"We're extremely proud of the growth we achieved in 2001," says Black. "Innovative products and marketing helped us surpass our goal. We're confident we have the momentum we need to significantly grow our business in the Americas and at the same time build one of the leading and most creative brands for families with children."

The Company's 2001 result is significant in a year when the overall American toy market was relatively flat, growing by only 1.7%.

LEGO® Americas also received three Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards from the Toy Industry Association, a testament to the strength of the 2001 lines. BIONICLE™ received two TOTYs, one for "Most Innovative Toy" and another for "Best Boy Toy." The LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Castle received a TOTY for "Best Activity Toy."

Black anticipates that LEGO® Americas again will exceed expectations as the division continues to roll out the aggressive growth strategy in 2002. The Company will launch innovative new LEGO® products including additions to the BIONICLE™ universe, a complete discovery system for preschoolers called LEGO® EXPLORE™ and a line of new LEGO® Soccer products, accompanied by a partnership with the U.S. Men's National Team. Hot licensed properties also will drive growth, including new products in the STAR WARS™ line to coincide with the May launch of Episode II, 11 new LEGO® Harry Potter™ sets and the Company's foray into the action figure aisle with the introduction of the GALIDOR™ organic building system based on the Fox Kids and YTV series, GALIDOR: Defenders of the Outer Dimension.

LEGO® Systems, Inc. (LSI) is the Americas (North America and Latin America) division of the LEGO® Company, a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The LEGO® Company employs nearly 1,200 people in the Americas - approximately three-quarters of whom work at LSI's 203-acre headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut. The LEGO® Company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough." For more information, visit www.LEGO.com.

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group.

GALIDOR is a trademark. © 2002 CineGroupe and The LEGO Group.

HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks
of and © Warner Bros. 2002.

© 2002 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under
authorization.

© HIT Entertainment PLC and Keith Chapman 2002.



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