By Maz Woolley
Hornby Hobbies owners of many famous brands including Corgi, Airfix, Scalextric and Hornby trains has announced an annual loss of 13.5 million pounds in the last year on a revenue of around 55 million pounds. Not surprisingly the share price has fallen by around 60% over the last year. The only strategy the Board has is to shrink the business and reduce costs to try to earn a profit on a lower turnover and to go cap in hand to the market for 8 million pounds more capital.
Why is this important to collectors? Well it looks like the end of the Modelzone areas in W H Smith stores making it even more difficult to see models before you buy them and giving Hornby even less visibility to the general public. With no money and an ambition to shrink the ranges by 40% a further cutback in investment in new castings and mouldings across the ranges seems inevitable and initiatives like KitStarter will presumably be stopped. Since investment in new models in some ranges like Vanguards has been non-existent for some time does that mean that they will actually cease to be produced, after all the re-colours are struggling to sell in the current market place?
It seems sad to me that Corgi’s 60th year is being celebrated by a series of lacklustre repaints which say little about its history or contribution to the hobby over the years. Indeed I think that this year may see the Corgi brand decline into insignificance for model car collectors which is a real shame.
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