Hornby profits up

Hornby posted an 80 per cent jump in first-half pre-tax profits with a turnover of £28.4m, increasing 11 per cent from the same period last year.

The owner of model railway, model car brands, and Airfix models, Hornby said it is expecting positive results from the full year.

Christmas traffic and a new line of models for the London 2012 Olympic Games, such as a Limited Edition London 2012 train set, are expected to kickstart sales.

The increase came largely from European business, which grew by 50 per cent. Sales gains in the UK were more modest, growing by only four per cent.

The improvement is credited in part to a greater supply chain, allowing the company to meet growing demands in Europe.

“Our European business is performing strongly. It is clear that there is a significant opportunity to build the scale of our model railway business in Europe,” Frank Martin, chief executive of Hornby, said in a statement.

Hornby hopes greater growth leading up to the London 2012 Olympics will cushion the group against the wider tough economic environment.

The net debt of the company grew to £12.8m from £10.8m in 2010.