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Model sales escape Hornby

Hobby products group Hornby has announced a marginal rise in full-year sales on the back of a recovery in second-half UK business.The iconic model railway firm, which acquired the Airfix and Humbrol brands last year, said that in the 12 months ending March 31st this year, turnover was up six per cent to £46.9 million.Citing sales growth in its overseas businesses, Hornby said its pre-tax profits rose slightly to £8.1 million."This has been an important developmental year for the group. All our overseas subsidiaries have made excellent progress in terms of sales and profits growth and the establishment of a platform for future profitable growth," said Frank Martin, chief executive of Hornby, which has experienced shrinking margins over the last several years.But Mr Martin insists the hobby market remains "robust", especially in the UK.He went on to argue: "Our international operations are now beginning to show their true potential, and we are confident that they will continue to deliver encouraging progress in the future."Our core businesses of model railways and slot racing products continue to benefit from our ongoing commitment to investment in product development. "Both the Scalextric and Hornby digital control systems have been extremely well received and enjoyed a strong Christmas season," Mr Martin concluded.In today's results statement Hornby also claimed that the acquisitions of Humbrol and Airfix were now "absorbed and bedding in well".

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