Hornby on track for up to 20% rise in sales

PA

Model train company Hornby said that it had stayed on track through the pandemic and expects to better last year’s sales.

The hobby firm said on Wednesday that it expects to report 15% to 20% higher sales in the financial year ending March 31.

The projections are still subject to Hornby’s warehouse being able to continue to operate fully with new Covid-19 restrictions in place.

“No one expected the last year to turn out as it did,” said chief executive Lyndon Davies.

“It is hard, however, not to want to spread a little ‘good news’ amongst all the bad.

“The transformation at Hornby continues to accelerate, this is not time for braking, we must now accelerate upwards through the gears.”

The year has not been without challenges as Hornby ate into its cash.

Net cash was £3.8 million at the end of December, down from £9.9 million a year earlier.

It said that the third quarter of the financial year, which includes Christmas saw sales ahead of the same period a year earlier.

But Hornby’s performance has not quite kept up as much since the start of the new year.

“January to date has been a slower start that we would have liked as we contend with tighter Covid-19 restrictions within the warehouse and the impact of courier companies pausing collections bound for Europe due to Brexit backlogs,” it said.

The backlogs have been worked through and the company expects to start shipping to Europe again “imminently”.

This is normally the time of year where Hornby shows off its new products at toy fairs around the world.

But this year it has been forced to turn to the internet, digitally previewing its latest range through social media.

It reported that feedback was “encouraging” and it is “buoyed by the levels of interest”.

Hornby also has a new website which is set to come online in the coming weeks.

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