Danish toymaker Lego Group reported what it called an "exceptional" net-profit jump of 36% for the first half of 2012, as it announced it will be recruiting 1,000 new employees this year.
"Once again the first half of the financial year exceeds our expectations, and the financial result is exceptional -- especially in view of general developments in the world toy market," Lego CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp said in a news release.
But, he cautioned, "It is still too early to provide estimates on the expected result for the full year because the closing months of the year are crucial for our business."
Sales of the iconic colorful building blocks have done particularly well in the United States, where they were up 23%, and in Europe, where they were up 10%, according to the company.
The gains translated into a 36.1% gain in net profit on the same period last year for the unlisted company, the world's fourth-biggest toymaker. Operating profit shot up by 41.7%.
Knudstorp said the new Lego Friends line aimed at girls between the ages of 5 and 9 has been an "astonishing" success.
Lego, a family-owned group headquartered in Billund, Denmark, has 8% of the global toys market, which is dominated by Mattel Inc. (IW 500/163).
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012