Hamleys in profit after six years

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The Independent Online

Hamleys announced its first annual profit for the first time in six years as it tipped the Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear action figure to be this year's Christmas best-seller.

The 250-year-old toy store, which has branches in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Jordan, Dubai and India, said it had made a pre-tax profit of £100,000 in the year to 27 March, compared with a £4.1m loss a year ago, after growing sales by 5.1 per cent, cutting its costs and reducing its debts. Gudjon Reynisson, the chief executive, said Hamleys was considering opening its first shop in Wales, possibly at St David's Centre in Cardiff, and would also open in Serbia later this year. Underlying sales for the 14 weeks to 3 July were up 4 per cent.

Mr Reynisson predicted sales of the new Zhu Zhu hamsters would be "massive" at Christmas but, referring to the character from the film Toy Story 3, added: "I am putting my money on Buzz Lightyear."