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Lego becomes best selling toy firm

Lego has overtaken Barbie doll-maker Mattel as the world's best-selling toy firm after sales were boosted by products linked to the Lego Movie.

The Danish firm said revenues soared by 11% in the first six months of 2014 to 11.5 billion kroner (£1.22 billion), marginally higher than the figure reported by its Fisher-Price and Matchbox rival last month.

Chief financial officer John Goodwin said: "Lego Movie products provided a significant boost to our sales during the first half of 2014."

He said the company was hopeful that the lift to sales from the Warner Brothers' film will continue following its release on DVD.

Lego is also enjoying success in new markets, with China sales up by more than 50% in the half-year period.

The company said "classic" product lines such as Lego City and Lego Star Wars continued to deliver strong growth around the world.

The Lego business was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The company passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.

The name is an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". The brick in its present form was launched in 1958.

Net profit in the half-year period was up 14% compared with the first half of 2013, at 2.7 billion kroner (£287 million).

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