Valuation of LEGO Group

Afreen Kausar Sharif & Nadia El Khattouti

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis has been to estimate the theoretical fair value of the Danish toy manufacturer LEGO Group as of March 31, 2020, conducted from an external perspective. The valuation is based on an in-depth strategic and financial analysis, as these allow for the necessary forecast to be estimated. The industry of traditional toys and games has been subjected to a number of challenges. Increasing time spent on electronic gadgets and increasing demand for digitalized toys and games put continuous pressure on innovation. The toy retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years due to digitalization and increasing growth of e-commerce why Lego is making significant investments in upgrading their e-commerce platform, which is especially important in times of the COVID-19. In addition, the strategic analysis illustrates that LEGO Group’s most generating geographical markets, Western Europe and North America, are stagnating, whereas Asia Pacific – especially the Chinese market – has shown substantial growth. China has been a growth priority to LEGO Group as the market has generated double-digit growth for numerous years why the company has increased its presence in the market. Furthermore, China has improved its legislation on intellectual property rights, which protects the LEGO brand from counterfeiting, increasing the attractiveness of the market. The System of Play is a vital source to the LEGO Group’s success as this ensures that all LEGO elements can fit together, enabling an expandable collection of LEGO bricks generating continuous sales. Although the LEGO brick is the heart of the business and the company continuously seek opportunities to make it relevant for children through external licensing right, collaborations, and digital solutions. The LEGO brand was in 2020, the most reputable brand worldwide while it being the most valuable brand in the industry of traditional toys and games. In general, the strategic analysis portrayed a bright future for LEGO, due to a strong brand, the substantial opportunity for growth, and a high degree of innovation. A financial analysis has been conducted to evaluate LEGO Group’s historical performance, and it concluded that the company outperformed its peers as the ROE and ROIC of LEGO Group was found to be much higher than its peers’. The operating profit margin of the LEGO Group has decreased in the analyzed period, but the level of the margin is nonetheless significantly higher than its peers’. Based on the strategic and financial analysis, a forecast for LEGO Group’s future performance was conducted as both the income statement and the balance sheet were budgeted for the forecast period.
The valuation of the LEGO Group has been conducted by applying the present value approach and a relative valuation approach. The cost of capital was applied together with the forecast predictions in the DCF and EVA models resulted in an estimated theoretical fair value of LEGO Group of DKK 300,821mn. The multiple comparisons showed that the LEGO Group was valued highly in this thesis in comparison to its peers. However, this must be adjusted for the peers’ lower sales growth and lower profitability. The thesis concludes that the estimated theoretical fair value of DKK 305,178mn is a representative assessment of the LEGO Group’s value as of March 31, 2020.

EducationsMSc in Accounting, Strategy and Control, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages168
SupervisorsOle Sørensen