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Rising revenues and narrowing losses makes good news story for Hornby

Narrowing losses and rising revenues make for a good news story for Hornby’s latest financials, as reported by the toymaker on Thursday this week.

The hobby specialist made a loss of £2.5 million before tax in the six months to September, the lowest since 2014. Meanwhile, company revenues were up 15 per cent to £15.9m.

Talking with the Financial Times, Hornby boss Lyndon Davies stated his optimism that model trains retained their appeal to youngsters today. The firm has recently relaunched it Harry Potter licensed line and continues to push advances in brands such as Scalextric and Airfix.

“I just attended the biggest railway show which took place in Birmingham,” said Davies. “And there were more children at that event than I’ve ever seen in the last 20 years.”

Davies was appointed to the role in 2017 by Phoenix Asset Management, the private equity company that acquired a majority stake in Hornby after a run of poor profits.

Davies said that the company had “fixed the engine which is now purring nicely. The thinking now is about tuning the engine and ideally adding a couple of superchargers.”

Among the firm’s future looking plans will be a “complete refurbishment” of its website that Davies has admitted, can “only handle a small amount of custom and has very little information or attractive merchandising.”

Davies also hit out at the group’s previous management, who he claimed had devalued the Hornby brand with steep discounting.

“What we had done was alienating ourselves from our customers. We were destroying our own market by dumping products,” he said. “People had forgotten that we were here.”  

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