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Model trains provide pandemic comfort, Hornby says

Hornby is best known for its miniature railways

Model railroad builder Hornby believes he is on track to cash in on the hobby revival during the lockdown after returning to profit.

Hornby, which also sells Scalextric, had revenue of £ 48.5million for the year as at March 31, 2021, up 28% from the previous year.

Managing Director Lyndon Davies said recent sales figures indicate the momentum will continue.

“Model trains, Scalextric sets running around the attic. Yes, there has been a lot of engagement from people. “

Mr Davies told the BBC: “When there are problems in the world people turn in on themselves, they look for things of comfort and in a hobby they find solace.”

Hornby achieved a net profit of £ 300,000 for the year ended March 31, an improvement over the loss of £ 3.4 million in the previous 12 months.

Shares of the leisure retailer rose more than 4% at the start of the session.

Shipping issues

Mr Davies said the retailer was more concerned with shipping issues causing supply chain disruption than ending bottlenecks.

Hornby, which imports many of its products from East Asia, has been hit by Chinese port closures due to the coronavirus.

“There are still shipping delays from our supply chain with container shortages. The shipping costs from our factories are three times higher than before,” the company said.

The introduction of its model trains and other leisure items into the EU had also encountered “countless import difficulties,” the company said, and it stopped exporting to the block at the end of 2020 in anticipation an increase in Brexit trade barriers.

“In recent weeks, shipments have resumed, but there are still delays in some countries with unnecessarily rigid procedures,” Hornby said in his London Stock Exchange update.

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