Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Late Christmas rush boosts Hornby

Hornby train sets
Hornby says strong sales have continued after Christmas

Toymaker Hornby has said its full-year results will meet the lower end of market forecasts after a late surge in sales in the run up to Christmas.

Despite "muted" sales in November and early December, Hornby said demand for its products then increased substantially just before Christmas.

As a result, the Kent-based firm said its sales for December as a whole were "significantly" above the year before.

Best known for its railway sets, Hornby also owns Scalextric, Corgi and Airfix.

Hornby added it was now having to put up prices because of the weak value of the pound, which makes its US dollar-based supply purchases more expensive.

Expansion plans

Hornby added that "strong demand" for its products had continued into 2009.

"Our strategy of expansion in Europe and across additional hobby-based brands continues to provide a broader revenue and profit base," said Hornby chairman Neil Johnson.

"We are pleased with the performance of the group in what was generally a difficult pre-Christmas period."

Hornby added that previous problems at its main Chinese supplier had been resolved following that company's takeover by a Hong Kong business.

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