British model railway company Hornby regrets not making Brexit toy train

British model railway company Hornby HRN, +0.00%   said it regrets not making a Brexit-themed toy train and also warned supply disruption could impact its key Christmas trading period.

Ahead of its AGM on Wednesday, the company said sales and margins for the five months to the end of August were higher than last year.

But the Scalextric owner said it was “mindful” of the potential supply disruption at the ports if or when Britain leaves the EU.

It warned that its full year outcome hinged on sales in the crucial Christmas period but that its Brexit preparations, which began last year, had been extensive.

Despite the caution, Hornby’s stock climbed 7.4% in early trading as investors welcomed improved sales and margins.

On a lighter note, the London-listed company also said it regretted not producing a Brexit-themed model railways set.

The comments came just hours before Parliament resumed after the Supreme Court ruled its suspension, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was unlawful.

Hornby said its “new grasp of social media” had shown how passionate people are about Brexit.

In a trading statement, the company said, “We regret not producing a Brexit themed model.”

“If the situation persists, we have plans for a locomotive that reliably gets stuck between stations,” it added.

The model train maker has struggled in recent years with declining sales, partly due to a fall in collectors, lack of enthusiasm for modelling, and supply backlogs, leading to heavy losses. Shares have fallen 71% since August 2015.

The company’s turnaround appears to be on track, however, as it pushes new products and struck a licensing deal with Warner Bros in September last year, allowing it to sell Harry Potter and DC Super Heroes merchandise.

It narrowed pretax losses by 42% to £4.4 million for the year ending March 2019.

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