Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 16:52 UK

Strong demand builds Lego sales

Lego bricks
Children spend five billion hours annually playing with Lego, the firm claims

Toy maker Lego reported a 60% rise in net profit in the first six months of 2009 as it said parents were turning to its classic products in the recession.

The Danish firm, famed for brightly-coloured building blocks, made 684m, kroner ($129m; £79.3m). Sales rose 23%.

Chief executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said the results were "very satisfactory" but warned Christmas trading would be the main test.

Its traditional lines had remained the most popular, he added.

Meanwhile its new theme, Lego Power Miners, had also got off to a good start, the firm said.

UK sales rose 20% in the first half of the year. The managing director of Lego UK, Marko Ilincic, said the continued strong growth in its traditional lines "was particularly encouraging and suggests a demand among consumers for trusted quality, particularly in the current economic climate".

Lego said it was the only one of the UK's top five toy manufacturers to enjoy sales growth in the first half of the year.

The firm began in a carpenter's workshop in 1932 and founder Ole Kirk Christiansen chose the name for his creation by combining the first two letters of the Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well".

Lego claims that children across the globe spend five billion hours a year playing with its bricks.

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