Lego has returned to growth in 2018 with revenue for the full year rising by 4% to 36.4 billion Danish kroner. The increase follows a drop in sales in the previous year for the first time since 2004.

2018 also saw the company increase its operating profit by 4% to 10.8 billion Danish kroner. Net profit was up 3.5% in the period to 8.1 billion Danish kroner.

Lego said revenue rose in all of its market groups. In established markets such as the US and Western Europe, growth was in the low-single digits. There was strong double-digit growth in China as the brand expanded into new cities and built its presence online and with physical stores. The business has recently launched a first shop in Beijing to mark its third flagship store opening in China since 2016.

Lego Group chief executive Niels Christiansen said: “We set out with one aim in 2018, to stabilise the business. We are pleased to have achieved this, and to have delivered modest top and bottom-line growth.

“We are especially encouraged by our progress given the challenges facing the toy industry and the departure of specialist retailers such as Toys R Us. These shifts gave us the opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with retailers and find new ways to connect with shoppers and consumers across digital and physical channels.

“We also grew market share in our largest markets around the world, bucking industry trends."