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Family business roundup: Lego and Prada post big profits, Walmart reflects on a solid year

It has generally been a strong week for family business results, with Lego and Prada posting impressive profits for 2012, while Walmart reported solid growth.

It has generally been a strong week for family business results, with Lego and Prada posting impressive profits for 2012, while Walmart reported solid growth.

Lego
In the face of sluggish economic recovery in Denmark, the toymaker famous for making billions of small, coloured bricks every year has posted outstanding results for 2012.

Lego, owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family, saw its net profit for the year rise by 35% to 5.6 billion kroner (€750 million) and its revenues increase 25% to 23.4 billion kroner.

Published 21 February, the results showed strong sales growth in North America, the company’s largest market, and in Asia – which the family business plans to expand into further over the coming years.

Product-wise, the company said that the launch of the Friends range, aimed at attracting more girls to Lego, had been a major success – so much so that the demand could not fully be met.

An investment vehicle belonging to the Kirk Kristiansen family owns 75% of Lego, while a foundation owns the remainder.

Prada
Meanwhile, Prada, the Milan fashion house controlled by the eponymous family, also reported a strong 2012. According to preliminary results from 19 February, the company’s consolidated revenues rose to €3.3 billion for the year to 31 January – a 29% increase on 2011.

Prada said the growth of the business was driven mainly by the Prada and Miu Miu brands, which enjoyed sales increases of 33% and 16%, respectively.

The group also achieved its aims of retail expansion, opening 78 new stores globally and taking its total number of directly operated stores up to 461.

Prada did particularly well in Italy and the rest of Europe, with sales growth in 2012 increasing by 19% and 33% respectively.

Walmart
In the US, Walmart, controlled by the Walton family, saw net sales grow by 7.4% to $135.2 billion during the year to 31 January 2013.

The company’s total revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was $127.1 billion, an increase of 3.9% from $122.3 billion in last year's fourth quarter.

The company said it was optimistic that its solid domestic growth would continue into the new fiscal year. Chief executive Bill Simon said: "We are confident that our low prices will continue to resonate, as families adjust to a reduced paycheck and increased gas prices”.

Pernod Ricard
Back in Europe, Pernod Ricard reported good global sales during the first six months of its fiscal 2012/2013 year. The world’s second-biggest distiller by revenue announced a 6% rise in net sales during the half – totalling €4.9 billion.

The drinks company, controlled by the eponymous family, fared well in Asia – where sales increased by 13% - but did less well in western Europe, where sales fell by 4%.

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