These steps have paid off tenfold. After Hornby’s main supplier in China failed to produce the volumes required last year, the firm 'diversified risk in its supply chain'. We think that means it 'signed up more suppliers'. The increased output tallied nicely with a sudden urge to splurge on model train sets across the continent: cash-strapped Europeans buying nostalgic toys from their halcyon days of youth, p’raps?
European revenues are up 50% with Germany leading the way as ‘by far the largest and most discerning model railway market in Europe’ gushes Hornby. Of course, they are not the only ones sucking up to the Germans right now. It's the country with all the cash! UK retailers have been more cautious, increasing sales by just 4%. Hornby’s half-year turnover is up 11% overall to £28.4m.
Hornby’s not done yet either. A whole range of 2012 Olympics-inspired products is set to generate around £6m of sales in 2012. And Hornby is also ramping up its international expansion: ‘The real growth opportunity should arise from overseas sales,’ was the firm’s statement today. ‘However, the eurozone crisis could slow growth down.’ Never a truer word: you have to have a currency in order to spend it.