Hornby profits still on track


Model railway specialist Hornby has revealed an eight per cent rise in annual profits, the seventh successive yearly rise.

Pre-tax profits to the year ending March 31st 2006 for the hobby company, manufacturer of both model railways and Scalextric, were up to £8.2 million, despite turnover going off the rails slightly by two per cent to £44.1 million.

Frank Martin, chief executive of the UK company, explained that profits from its overseas subsidiaries had contributed to share earnings steaming on four per cent to 15.64 pence, with the acquisition of France-based electronics firm MKD.

"Our international operations are now profitable and we are confident that they will continue to deliver encouraging progress in the future," he said.

Mr Martin revealed that despite "challenging" consumer conditions in the UK, the firm's loyal hobbyist base remained "loyal".

Neil Johnson, chairman of Hornby, said that the company's seventh successive annual profit had been achieved even though "the background of a weaker consumer environment in the UK, our main market".

But the chief executive commented that specific products, such as the Hornby digital control system that was launched at the London Toy Fair, had also contributed to the healthy financial results.

He said: "The launch of the Scalextric sport digital system has been extremely successful. This major advance in technology has been further developed to offer digital control racing across a wider range of price points, thus bringing significantly enhanced play-value into the mass market for slot racing."

Mr Martin added: "I am confident, as we roll this out in our other model railway brands, that this will prove to be a further boost to sales growth."

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