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Hornby shares tumble again as chief executive set to step down

PUBLISHED: 10:29 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:29 12 September 2017

Hornby products

Hornby products

Archant

The model toymaker has its headquarters at the Discovery Park in Sandwich

The chief executive of Hornby is to step down after Phoenix Asset Management seized control of the model toymaker and commenced a review of the firm’s strategy.

The Scalextric-to-Airfix maker, which has its headquarters at the Discovery Park in Sandwich, after moving out of its long-time home in Margate. said that Steve Cooke, who has only been in the role since April last year, will leave at an unspecified date in the future.

The departure was “mutually agreed”, Hornby said, and Mr Cooke will remain in place for a transitional period.

Interim chairman David Adams said: “The position of Phoenix as Hornby’s majority shareholder represents a new chapter in the development of the group and the board is working closely with Phoenix to set the direction of the business going forward.”

Shares were down nearly four per cent to 27.3p in mid morning trading.

Earlier this year Phoenix took full control of Hornby, and said at the time that it intends to develop an understanding of the group and its longer-term strategy as it looks to deliver earnings growth following the completion of a turnaround strategy.

Today, Phoenix confirmed it is reviewing Hornby’s strategy.

Hornby’s turnaround has seen it reduce product ranges and cut back on investment as part of plans to shore up the balance sheet.

But only last week the group, best known for its model railways, said that trading has fallen short of expectations amid increased competition.

It pointed to “softer market demand” and reduced promotional activity which has hit its performance.

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