Hornby looks to merchandise deals to boost sales

Toy manufacturer Hornby has reported a 5% increase in turnover for the year and is banking on its merchandise deals with Disney and the Olympic Games to boost its brand performance.

The brand, which also makes the Scaletrix models, says it has made “excellent progress” despite annual profits falling to £5.2m from £6.1m last year.

Hornby owns a number of model railway and slot car brands, Airfix models, Humbrol paints and Corgi die cast models.

Its Corgi brand recently announced it is launching a dedicated one-stop consultancy service for brands and agencies that want to use branded toys as a targeted promotional marketing tool.

Frank Martin, chief executive of Hornby, says: “We have made excellent progress during the year. Demand for our products has remained robust and we enjoyed a strong finish to the year. Many of our UK retailers have been keen to re-stock after a strong Christmas trading period.”

“Looking forward, Hornby is in excellent shape. We have agreed a number of new exciting licenses including collaboration with Disney/Pixar to produce products associated with the new Toy Story 3 Movie. Importantly, we continue to introduce more merchandise associated with the London 2012 Olympic Games. We expect these product lines to perform well as we get closer to the games.”

Hornby was awarded a licence by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to produce toys for the London 2012 Olympic Games last year.

The recently unveiled Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville have attracted widespread criticism.

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