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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 12:57 GMT
Model maker's profits steam ahead
Hornby's first Live Steam locomotive
The new Live Steam locomotives will cost about 500.
Model train maker Hornby has seen first half sales and profits steam ahead as its growth strategy remains on track.

The company reported a 2.2m pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 September, up from 1.7m a year ago.

Sales at the firm, which also makes the Scalextric slot-car racing game were up by 13% to 15.8m.

It also predicted "strong" trading in the run-up to the crucial Christmas trading period, with its products now appealing to both children and adults.


Hornby has undergone a renaissance over the past few years after it moved production of its models to China to cut costs.

This year its share price has more than doubled, and by lunchtime on Friday it was up 17.5p at 1107.5p.

Hornby has high hopes for sales of its new Live Steam range of locomotives which go on sale this Christmas.

The locomotives are powered by live steam and will cost about 500.

"There is now a huge level of interest among collectors and enthusiasts for our highly detailed products," said chief executive Frank Martin.

"This, combined with the appetite of parents for traditional 'hands-on' toys, has continued to fuel the growth in sales across both Hornby and Scalextric."

Sales of Scalextric cars were up by 50% on the same period last year, and the company is due to launch a Scalextric motorbike range next year.

"We are confident that our continued focus on building a healthy pipeline of new products will open up new markets for us and continue the momentum in sales growth that we have enjoyed over recent years," Mr Martin said.


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