COPENHAGEN Jan 15 Danish toymaker Lego said on
Friday it would invest more than a hundred million euros in its
factory in Hungary to double the size of its facilities there
and avoid shortages that have plagued the Christmas period in
Lego has become the world's largest toymaker by sales,
overtaking U.S. Barbie-maker Mattel, thanks partly to
toys linked to movies. But Lego ran short of bricks before
Christmas last year.
"As we continue to grow our business, we need to ensure that
we are able to deliver the Lego sets demanded by consumers all
over the world," the family-owned company wrote in a statement.
Lego said as many as 1,600 new jobs could be created in the
city of Nyíregyháza in Hungary towards 2020, bringing the number
of employees up to approximately 4,000.
Lego said the investment amounted to more than one hundred
million euros, while the state-owned Hungarian news agency said
it would be 30 billion forints ($104 million), with the
government also investing.
The toymaker was not able to fill all its orders ahead of
the Christmas sales last year despite running its factories in
Denmark, Czech Republic, Mexico and Hungary at full speed.
The company is also building a factory in Jiaxing in China,
100 kilometres from Shanghai, which is expected to be up and
running in 2017 and should produce most of Lego toys for Asia in
The construction of the new expansion in Hungary is expected
to begin within the coming months, with the new facilities being
ready for production by 2018.
Lego faced controversy last year when dissident Chinese
artist Ai Weiwei accused it of censorship because the toymaker
would not supply him with a bulk order of the bricks, saying it
had a long-running policy of not donating bricks if they knew
they would be used as part of a "political agenda".
Earlier this week Lego said it had dropped restrictions on
large orders and it would stop asking people why they wanted its
(Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Katharine Houreld)