Hornby steams ahead with festive orders: Model train maker says hobby industry can ride out the economic storm 

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Model train maker Hornby said the hobby industry could emerge out of the economic storm as it gears up for a bumper Christmas.

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The firm, best known for its train sets, also manufactures Skelextric cars and Airfix model aircraft, and said its ‘outstanding order book is very strong’ – even better than last year.

And it said that while it was “conscious of the impact of the current economic environment on demand”, the hobby industry continues to do well in times of trouble.

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Bumper season: Model train maker Hornby says ‘outstanding order book is very strong’ – better than last year

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Executive Chairman Lyndon Davis said buyers are still spending on model cars and trains as they ‘get comfort from the brands they remember from their past’.

He continued: ‘When you have a hobby you can turn inward and not dominate the problems around you. People turn inward and look for comfort in times of crisis, and what our brands offer is that comfort.’

Hornby is pushing the shipping dates of key products forward to dodge supply chain disruption in preparation for Christmas.

In a sign of flexibility, it said sales and profits from April to September were in line with the previous year.

Davis said: ‘The most interesting thing people are finding is that we’re not saying sales are down.’

Hornby is seeing strong sales of Christmas rail sets as well as sklextric models of the DeLorean time machine from the Back to the Future movies and the Batmobile. It has also released a model of the Spitfire Fighter.

A Covid-fuelled boom reversed nearly a decade of losses, after poor management decisions left it near collapse.

Interest in the firm remained strong, with the 2021 documentary Hornby: A Model World looking behind the scenes. Another series about the firm is currently being filmed.

Davis, a toy industry veteran who took over in 2017, has led a change.

He emphasized on cutting costs, improving the supply chain and expanding the product ranges offered by brands such as Airfix and Skelextric. shares 1.8 percent, or 0.5p, rose to 28.5p.

Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /

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