Lego to cease Russian operations ‘indefinitely’, 81 stores impacted

The world’s largest toymaker, Denmark’s Lego, said Tuesday it would stop all its Russian operations, ending the employment of its Moscow staff and a partnership with a company operating 81 stores in Russia.

A Lego spokeswoman said the company had decided to “indefinitely cease commercial operations in Russia given the continued extensive disruption in the operating environment”.

This included terminating the employment of most of the Moscow-based team and a partnership with Inventive Retail Group which “operated 81 stores on the brand’s behalf”, the spokeswoman added.

The company had already halted deliveries to Russia in March following the invasion of Ukraine.

“We confirm the termination of the contract with Lego,” a spokeswoman for Inventive Retail Group told AFP on Tuesday.

“Our company will continue to work as an expert in the category of construction and educational toys,” she added.

In early May, Russia placed Lego products on a list of goods that could be imported without the agreement of the intellectual property owner in order to bypass restrictions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine.

Among the list published by the industry and commerce ministry were Apple and Samsung smartphones, major car brands, game consoles and spare parts used in various industries.

Lego’s net profit rose 63 percent last year to 1.8 billion rubles (about $30 million at the current exchange rate), according to info in the Spark financial and legal database cited in the Russian business newspaper RBK. — Agence France-Presse

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