Hornby buys Airfix and more for £2.6m

Models and collectables giant Hornby has officially confirmed the acquisition of Humbrol’s Airfix and paints businesses – whilst announcing interim profits of £1.4m.
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It has exchanged contracts and will pay a total consideration of £2.6 million in cash, acquired from the administrator Grant Thornton.The Humbrol deal includes all model kits and accessories, the Young Scientist brand and their associated assets.

A perfect fit with the existing Hornby portfolio, the acquired lines are sold in a range of territories around the world and pulled in sales of £6.5m in 2005.

Hornby intends to re-structure the business, moving all the distribution, sales and marketing operations to its own site in Kent. It will re-locate the manufacturing and assembly processes to third parties. This will allow Hornby to focus on re-invigorating the marketing and distribution and driving sales growth.

Airfix and Humbrol remain strong brands and enjoy an excellent position in the market place. Demand has remained buoyant in recent years. Humbrol products are used by modellers across a large range of applications worldwide.

Hornby management believe that they can re-invigorate the Airfix business by focusing both on traditional products for the model enthusiast and also by investing in new products aimed at the younger market.

Humbrol’s products are used in a multitude of applications, not just model making. This will broaden Hornby’s product offering which currently ranges from model railways, slot car racing sets, track extensions, buildings and landscape accessories.

“We are delighted to have acquired Airfix and Humbrol, both of which are iconic brands in the hobby market. The strategic fit with Hornby is excellent,” said Hornby chief executive Frank Martin.

Hornby’s sales during the six months to September 30th hit £17.9m, with profits of £1.4m.

As well as the Humbrol assets, it has recently acquired Heico Modell in Germany.

 “The group is making excellent progress towards our objective of building an international hobby business and reducing our dependency on the UK market,” added Martin.

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