Lego builds up to become world's No 2 toy maker

Lego has overtaken Hasbro to become the world's second-largest toy maker after its first-half sales surged 13 per cent to 10.3bn Danish kroner (£1.2bn).

The family-owned Danish group's sales now rank only behind the US Barbie doll maker Mattel.

Lego's revenues soared 35 per cent in Asia, where its new animal-themed Chima range has been popular. In comparison, sales grew by just 4 per cent in America and 8 per cent in Europe.

"Asia has not been a major focus for us as a company up until this point but we see now, with the emerging middle class, more and more consumers that are really interested in our products," chief financial officer John Goodwin said.

The company is planning to build its first factory in China next year.

Operating profits rose 11 per cent to 2.39bn kroner in the first six months of the year.