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LONDON (Dow Jones - 21/07/2005) - Toy train maker Hornby warned that trade has begun to weaken in recent months but added the summer period is seasonally weaker so it remains hard to predict demand.

The news was released as an AGM statement which reported weakening consumer demand in the UK.

"In the UK we began to see some weakening of consumer demand during May. This trend has continued in June and July. However this is traditionally a quiet period for trading and it is therefore difficult to project future demand based on current experience," said Hornby.

On the international platform Hornby said it has made good progress transferring production of Lima products from Italy to China with sales starting in the Autumn.

"Our marketing initiatives in Spain will have a positive effect on sales and profits this year and, Scalextric USA is also expected to deliver an improved performance compared to last year," said Hornby.

This seems to be the focus for future growth as Chairman Neil Johnson said, "Further development of our recent international investments will, as planned, help to offset UK market fluctuations in future years."

Ed - After pessimistic news recently from Roco and Märklin has announced some down-sizing, this does not bode well, but it is Summer and we prefer to be outdoors at this time of year. eBay sales of trains are down and the shops are closing for their holidays - what can you expect right now. Lets just hope that it all picks up again from September onwards.
 

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A bit of worrying news yesterday that is probably going to affect all buyers of Bachmann & Hornby. The Chinese have revalued their currency and it is likely to make toys and models made in China more expensive.
I suppose it had to happen !
 

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Clothing retailers have said that the warmer summer weather relative to last year have increased sales of summer outfits (for the ladies?) and outdoor gear in the UK. If the better half insists on a new summer outfit then hobby money may get diverted. We must all keep wifey happy else any new package that appears may be questioned!


Just checked Ebay out and listings in the model railways catagory are down from the typical 16000 items (mostly unsaleable items and chancers it has to be said) to just over 12000 items so folk do appear to have other things on their minds right now. Come September and Ebay will pick up again as in previous years.

It has not rained in the UK for several weeks and water companies are warning of drought.

Lets all hope that the first Ashes test at Lord's gets abandoned by the forecast rain this weekend else England are in for a Aussie drubbing I suspect.


The grass in the garden is looking very mediterranean.

Railway modellers are probably taking advantage of what seems to be a good British summer (rare?) to get out of the hobby room and look at prototype trains.

Sales of garden railway kit however may well be perking up, and the supplement in "Model Rail" magazine could not be better timed.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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