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Britain's Hornby wary of port disruptions despite bumper order book

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(Reuters) - Toymaker Hornby, whose products include Thomas the Tank engine trains, warned on Wednesday that ongoing supply problems in Britain could hit its crucial Christmas season despite having a substantially higher order book.

Hornby, which also makes model cars and planes, had to pause all orders last December from customers outside the UK during the holiday season, blaming the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. This year, supply chains in the UK are under strain because of a shortage of workers, particularly haulage drivers.

"Our outstanding order book is very strong and substantially higher than a year ago, however timing is everything when it comes to Christmas and we are mindful of the potential supply disruption at the ports continuing," Hornby said.

The British company, which moved all its manufacturing to China in 1995, said sales for the five months till August 31 were slightly lower than the previous year, but were in line with its expectations and business was beginning to return to pre-pandemic patterns.

It had reported a smaller loss for the year ended March 31. The outcome over Christmas will determine results for this year.

(Reporting by Chris Peters and Muvija M in Bengaluru;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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