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Hornby reports muted Christmas sales

Toy retailer Hornby has warned that its profits for the year to 31 March are expected to be below current market expectations due to weak demand for its train sets and Scalextric racing cars over Christmas.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Hornby reports muted Christmas sales

Toy retailer Hornby has warned that its profits for the year to 31 March are expected to be below current market expectations due to weak demand for its train sets and Scalextric racing cars over Christmas.

The group blamed fragile consumer confidence and cautious retail trade buying for the muted sales particularly of the more expensive ranges.

The company said it had taken steps to broaden its portfolio of products, resulting in lower average price points. It has also signed a number of new license and distribution agreements which it hopes will help to underpin the business over the coming years.

Chairman Neil Johnson said: "The challenging economic environment impacted UK sales negatively pre-Christmas. In anticipation of continuing difficult trading conditions, we have adapted our business to offer a wider range of products at lower price points in categories complementary to our core business."

Hornby is hopeful that its Olympics merchandise ranges and new products such as Scalextric Star Wars and Corgi die cast toys will be popular and boost sales.

Johnson continued: "We maintain an undiminished focus on the development of our core ranges whilst continuing to broaden our product range, appeal and geographic reach.  It is however proving extraordinarily difficult to predict sales accurately in these turbulent markets."

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