Hornby seeks recovery track

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The Independent Online

The troubled toy maker Hornby appointed a new finance director yesterday as the company looks to steam ahead with a recovery from its Olympic mis-step.

Nick Stone, formerly financial director at software and consultancy group KBC Advanced technologies, will replace Andrew Morris at the Margate-based model maker, known for its model trains.

Mr Stone faces a significant challenge getting Hornby back on track. The company, which owns the Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi brands, disappointed investors last November by saying it was scrapping its dividend following a washout summer that saw it post a pre-tax loss of £540,000 in the six months to 30 September.

The company blamed the result on poor sales of its London 2012 Olympic merchandise, such as taxis and buses, as well as weak demand for other products in the UK and abroad.

It was also hit by "very substantial disruption" at its main supplier in China, which accounts for more than a third of Hornby's purchases. The toy maker now expects to "break even" in the current financial year, ending March 2013.