Hornby bullish ahead of full-year results

Firm reports strong performance across the business, with significant year-on-year order increases for Hornby and Scalextric.
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In a pre-close statement, Hornby also said the Airfix, Humbrol and Corgi ranges have continued to show gains during the full year to March 31st 2010.

Adverse foreign exchange effects and de-stocking by retailers in the early part of the financial year impacted first half performance, but the situation improved for the company in the second half.

Hornby expects pre-tax profit for the year to be in line with market expectations. The firm said that cash generation has been strong as it has reduced its debt levels significantly.

Key ranges for the following year include Scalextric and Hornby ranges under the Toy Story 3 licence; the introduction of Digital Sound on Hornby locomotives and the exclusive worldwide licence for the Mercedes GP Formula One team including products featuring Michael Schumacher.

Hornby expects the greatest sales increase in the next year to be seen in the Airfix and Humbrol ranges as it continues to rebuild distribution around the world.

The firm is also particularly confident about its London 2012 licensed range, with early indications showing the product will prove very popular and allow the firm to open new channels of distribution.

Chairman, Neil Johnson commented: "We are positive about the future. We see the potential for a period of sales growth across all our product ranges, which should deliver a significantly improved performance in the new financial year and beyond.

"A year ago we were facing three major challenges: a fragile supply chain, reduced demand from our retailer and an unfavourable sterling/dollar exchange rate.

"Today, we have much improved visibility and control over the supply chain, retailers are hungry for our products and we have secured the bulk of our currency requirements for the year to 31 March 2011 at favourable rates.

"Whilst the challenges to the global economy are likely to remain with us for some time, we enter the new financial year in a positive frame of mind."

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