Airfix and Scalextric maker Hornby welcomes a sales jump after an encouraging end to the year
- Hornby is well known for its model train, Airfix and Scalextric car sets
- The firm briefly postponed orders to foreign customers around Christmas
- Hornby will be the focus of the television programme Hornby: A Model World
Toy company Hornby has said a ‘very encouraging’ rise in sales over the last quarter has meant total purchases in the previous financial year were over 25 per cent higher.
The Margate-based firm, well known for its model train and Scalextric sets, added that it was functioning more effectively than during the first lockdown despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.
It said that full-year cumulative group sales grew by 28 per cent though its net cash at the end of March declined year-on-year from £5.4million to £4.7million.
Trains: Hornby said full-year cumulative group sales grew by 28 per cent though its net cash declined year-on-year from £5.4million to £4.7million this year
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the group’s strong trade helped it make a profit of £177,000 in the six months to September last year compared to a £2.5million loss in 2019, its first profit in nearly a decade.
What’s more, it came in the 100th anniversary after the business brought out its first model locomotive sets, and the firm created a special model diesel locomotive in honour of fundraiser and D-Day veteran Captain Tom Moore.
Hornby’s sales have continued to be solid since then even though it was forced to briefly postpone all orders to overseas customers over the Christmas period, blaming problems associated with Brexit and disruption at British ports.
‘Covid-19 has had dire consequences for many businesses, but we have coped with it. We will be in a much better position to advance still further once the pandemic is over,’ it remarked back in January.
Among the brands that have been popular with consumers included the Airfix Spitfire model, which even ran out of stock at one point in 2020 due to considerable demand, paints brand Humbrol, and Back to the Future-themed Scalextric cars.
Model and board game makers have benefited considerably from the lockdown as Britons spend more time indoors playing their favourite childhood games or new ones with their children.
Fast cars: Hornby are the makers of Scalextric, the slot car racing game which recently brought out a Back to the Future and Only Fools and Horses-themed edition
Warhammer producer Games Workshop recorded its largest first-half sales and profits ever last year even though its stores have been severely afflicted by closures because of their non-essential status.
The company’s share price grew by the second-highest amount on the FTSE 250 during the 2010s, and since the start of 2020, they have grown by another two-thirds.
Meanwhile, Hornby could be about to receive a further boost from a new observational UKTV Original television programme, called Hornby: A Model World, that will air on the history-focused channel Yesterday.
Flying high: Among the Hornby toys that have been popular with consumers include the Airfix Spitfire model, which even ran out at one point last year due to considerable demand
‘The immersive series documents the ups and downs of trying to get these much-loved collector’s pieces to their customers on time and on budget, exploring how, by studying the original full-sized machines, these replicas are faithfully reproduced in miniature with incredible attention to detail,’ Hornby has said.
It added: ‘The series also features a passionate community of collectors and their layouts; whose expertise and knowledge is invaluable to the company.’
Shares in Hornby ended trading 12.6 per cent higher at 55.75p today.