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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Hornby branches out to new lines
Dr Who
Hornby hopes the Doctor's popularity will rub off on its sales
Toymaker Hornby is putting its faith in TV favourite Dr Who and Formula One star Lewis Hamilton to drive sales.

The group has negotiated a licence with BBC Worldwide to produce a range of Airfix models based on Dr Who, which should hit shop shelves for Christmas.

A further deal with the McLaren Formula One team will allow it to issue a range of Lewis Hamilton Scalextric cars.

Kent-based Hornby also aims to cash in on the current Transformer craze, with a range of products based on the film.

Shares in the company jumped on the news, rising 24.25 pence, or 11%, to 250.25p on the London market in afternoon trade.

Timely move?

The decision to produce a range of Dr Who goods just in time for Christmas could prove to be a money-spinner.

Last year, Character Group's Cyberman voice changing helmet was touted as one of the biggest sellers during Christmas 2006.

In a trading update to coincide with its annual general meeting, Hornby - famous for its range of model train sets - said it had made a "solid" start to the year.

"Forward orders are much stronger than the equivalent position last year," said chairman Neil Johnson in a statement.

"With a strong pipeline of new product launches, we are very well placed to continue to drive both sales and profit growth."


SEE ALSO
Airfix set to boost Hornby sales
01 Jun 07 |  Business
Hornby snaps up Airfix for 2.6m
10 Nov 06 |  Business
Hornby signals German expansion
01 Sep 06 |  Business
Sticky future for kitmaker Airfix
31 Aug 06 |  Business
Toy firm set for bumper Christmas
28 Nov 06 |  Business

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