Hornby expecting London 2012 Olympics boost

Model Mini in 2012 logos
Image caption Hornby is planning about 150 products tied in to the 2012 Olympics

Model maker Hornby says its sales of products related to the 2012 Olympics are set to bring it "lasting benefits".

The company, which also owns Scalextric, said that with a year to go to the London Olympics it was already seeing strong sales of the products.

Hornby, best known for its model railways, also reported a 21% fall in annual profits to £4.1m.

The decline followed the severe weather in the UK last December, and problems with suppliers in China.

However, Hornby said that its Chinese parts producers were now increasing supplies, and added that its business was in "great shape".

Hornby, which also owns the Airfix model and Corgi model car brands, also announced its latest film tie-in was for a range of Star Wars Scalextric products.

Hornby's chief executive, Frank Martin, said: "Our range of London 2012 merchandise is now gathering real momentum. As we approach a year to go to the games, we are seeing a significant increase in sales. We are also benefiting from the increased distribution coverage."

He told the BBC that using brands such as the Olympics and Star Wars was a key marketing tool for attracting younger customers.

Last year, the company's big-name licensing deal was to make products linked to Toy Story 3.

Shares in Hornby rose 11.8% on Friday, closing at 133p.

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