爱思英语编者按:对于商界精英们来说,阅读《金融时报》(Financial Times)几乎成了每天的必修课。FT文章以分析为主,逻辑严密,经常被各类考试用作考题。非常适合学习BEC、TOEIC、GRE、GMAT的考生来阅读、练习。

Lego is to build its first factory in Asia as the toymaker taps into surging demand in the region and continues its push to add production in low-cost countries.

The Danish maker of toy bricks will start building a factory in Jiaxing, China, next year. When the factory opens in 2017 it will only supply parts to Asia, which is set to become the world’s biggest market for toys. The plant is expected to meet 70-80 per cent of total regional demand for Lego.

Lego’s sales have almost tripled since 2007, making it the world’s second-largest toymaker by revenues behind Mattel. Asia has played a big part in its success, as its annual sales increase by more than 50 per cent in recent years. It is also highly profitable, with net profits last year of about $1bn and a gross profit margin of 71 per cent.

Jiaxing is located around 100km from Shanghai, where Lego is planning to build a regional distribution centre for Asia. Its Chinese factory will follow plants in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Mexico as the group diversifies away from its roots in central Denmark in the countryside town of Billund.

The plant will employ about 2,000 workers once it is fully operational in 2017 and Lego will invest more than €100m to build it.

“It is our strategy to have production close to our core markets in order to secure short lead-time and world class service to our customers and consumers, and it has proven a successful strategy. Asia – including China – is a future core market for the Lego Group,” said Bali Padda, Lego’s chief operating officer.

He added that the new factory would be more environmentally friendly by reducing the need to transport Lego pieces between Europe and Asia.

The privately owned Danish toymaker has enjoyed a renaissance after it expanded too quickly at the end of the last century and started to run up losses. An outside chief executive, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp who came from McKinsey, cut jobs and product lines and boosted production outside Denmark.

Recent success has come from building sets linked to films such as Stars Wars and The Hobbit as well as Lego Friends, a new line aimed at girls.

学习指南:

1.Word of the day

plant : A plant is a factory or a place where power is produced 工厂;发电厂。

ex:Ford's British car assembly plants.
例句:福特公司在英国的汽车装配厂。

小编注:这个单词从小就学,再熟悉不过了。我们都知道plant有“植物”的意思,但同时,这个词也有“工厂”的意思。正如植物的成长需要适宜的环境,制造一样产品也需要合适的环境才行哦。值得注意的是,plant解释为工厂时更倾向于重工厂,factory的含义则更为普通。

2.Phrase of the day

net profit: gross profit minus all operating costs not included in the calculation of gross profit, esp wages, overheads, and depreciation  净利润; 总利润减去所有不包括在计算总利润中的营运花费,特别是工资、企业经费和资产折旧

3.Sentence of the day

The privately owned Danish toymaker has enjoyed a renaissance after it expanded too quickly at the end of the last century and started to run up losses.
乐高是一家丹麦私营玩具制造企业。上世纪末,乐高曾由于过快扩张而出现亏损,但近年又重返增长。

小编注:renaissance这个词来自意大利语rinascimento,是由ri(重新)和nascere(出生)两个词合并构成。我们都知道文艺复兴就叫做Renaissance,这里用了这个词的原意——“重生”。形象地描述了乐高在上世纪经历的销售起伏。

4.Cultural point of the day

Lego小背景:不知道你是否也像小编一样,每次去反斗城都会去玩一玩乐高积木,然后感叹是哪位天才想出了这种简单而又复杂的小玩意儿。乐高积木正如其所宣传的,并不只是孩子的玩具,成年人也会对它爱不释手。Lego最初发源于二战前的欧洲小国丹麦,Lego这个名称来自丹麦语“leg godt”,意思是“play well”。乐高为什么成功?我想乐高的成功正在于其丰富多彩的变化性,你可以用那些简单的小方块搭出房屋、城市、火车、飞船等种种事物,正所谓“没有做不到,只有想不到”。这里给家长们一个忠告,其实与其给孩子买ipad当玩具,不如给他买一套乐高吧,既没辐射又开发智力还能增加家庭互动,何乐不为呢?

5.Translation of the day

An outside chief executive, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp who came from McKinsey, cut jobs and product lines and boosted production outside Denmark.
曾在麦肯锡(McKinsey)工作的首席执行官Jørgen Vig Knudstorp,先后裁员并削减了生产线,还推动公司在丹麦以外的地方建厂。

小编注:很多中国学生在翻译新闻的时候“想太多”,总是希望用高级的词汇来造句子。但是,这在native speaker的眼中会显得有些造作。比如这里,原文中用了非常简单的两个词:削减——cut;推动——boost。如果经常阅读英文报刊,会发现英语新闻中经常使用的正是那些在我们看来极其简单的词。记住,好的英语往往不是把一堆GRE单词堆起来就能堆得出来的,好的英语在于simple and beautiful,这是需要很长时间的积累和学习才能达到的。