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Hornby on track for profits.

Model train-maker Hornby is on track to "broadly" meet profits hopes after deals in Europe reduced its dependence on the UK market.

The firm, which ends its financial year in March, said the UK's pre-Christmas trading period had been more difficult than previous years but that the European market's reaction to its recently acquired continental brands had been "excellent".

Since December 2004 Hornby has owned stakes in the Electrotren, Jouef, Rivar-ossi, Lima and Arnold toy makers.

Hornby said UK sales of Scalextric car racing sets and Hornby trainsets had been depressed but trade in accessories such as individual model locomotives or track extensions had performed well, indicating the robust nature of the market.

The company hopes that by targeting the European collectors' market it will permanently reduce its dependence on the UK. Last week it launched new digital ranges at the London Toy Fair, including a digital control system.

The business also has an exclusive licence to market racing products based on the A1 Grand Prix, which it said should become an important contributor to future sales.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 31, 2006
Words:177
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