Listen to this article
Toymaker Lego is to expand its London office, in a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy despite the vote to quit the European Union.
The Danish toy brick manufacturer and retailer made no reference to Brexit in its statement on Wednesday but it said the investment announcement was a “clear signal that we consider (London) to be a great location for us”.
John Goodwin, chief financial officer, said “now is the time to expand the office” and the investment will “make more room for our current employees working here in London as well as ensure that we have capacity for potential future growth”.
Lego is just the latest company to announce new investment or expansion plans for the UK in the wake of the June referendum, defying predictions foreign investment flows would dry up.
Lego said it would expand its UK presence by 50 per cent by taking two floors at One Plough Place adjacent to its existing London office at Fetter Lane.
The London office, opened in 2014, has pioneered what Lego calls “a new way of working” with no fixed seating to encourage “collaboration and chance encounters” which the company says is vital to spark new product ideas.
Lego is currently led by a Briton. Bali Padda, who has been with the company 15 years, was elevated to chief executive in 2016, the first non-Dane to head the company since it was founded in 1932.
Lego owns and operates factories in Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and its most recent manufacturing unit at Jiaxing, 120km south of Shanghai.
It almost collapsed in 2004, but today is in rude good health, and has grown revenues since 2004 on average 17 per cent a year.
The London office, which the company describes as “strategically important” is one of five “main offices” including the company headquarters in the sleepy town of Billund in the middle of the Jutland peninsula. The others are in Enfield in the US, Shanghai, and Singapore.