Shares in model train maker Hornby were derailed by steep losses and a sharp fall in sales.
In a doom-laden set of results, the Scalextric racetrack and Corgi car maker warned its problems would take time to fix as it reported a near 25 per cent slump in revenue and a £10.1million loss in the year to March 31.
A lack of investment in tools and the late placing of orders with suppliers meant Hornby was unable to satisfy demand for its model cars and trains.
Chief executive Lyndon Davies likened its situation to booking a table at a restaurant last minute.
On the buffers: A lack of investment in tools and the late placing of orders with suppliers left Hornby unable to satisfy demand for its model cars and trains
‘As you might expect, most of the restaurants were unavailable, so we desperately rang around and booked the best table we could find,’ said Davies, referring to the struggle Hornby experienced in getting supplies from manufacturers.
‘We then arrived late with fewer people in the party than we promised, we didn’t order all of the meals, forgot to tell the kitchen how we wanted our steaks cooked, changed our mind on the side dishes and then complained when we found the restaurant was closing and there was no time for dessert,’ he said.
Davies added the company had revamped its ordering process. Hornby’s disastrous results follow a profit warning in January. Shares crashed 2 per cent, or 0.5p, to 24.9p.
The FTSE 100 dipped 0.36 per cent, or 27.48 points, to 7603.85 while FTSE 250 fell 0.78 per cent, or 163.82 points, to 20835.78.
Moneysupermarket shares flopped after analysts at Barclays questioned whether the comparison site’s earnings were high enough to justify its lofty share price.
Stock Watch -Taptica
Taptica shares soared after the mobile advertising company boasted of expectation-beating sales.
The company, which runs adverts for the likes of Starbucks and Sony, managed to dodge the troubles plaguing Facebook, one of its marketing partners, to push on with ‘sustained’ sales momentum.
Analysts at Berenberg bumped up its target share price by 20p to 640p.
The announcement drove Taptica’s shares up 25.4 per cent, or 70.5p, to 348p.
In a note to investors, Barclays said the FTSE 250-listed firm can only be considered ‘cheap if earnings-per-share growth returns to double digits’.
Shares slipped 4.8 per cent, or 15.5p, to 307.6p.
Back on the FTSE 100, a broker upgrade delivered a boost to Royal Mail shares.
Jefferies raised the postal delivery service’s target price by 100p to 400p, despite it having weak earnings and profitability compared with rivals.
Shares ticked up 1.5 per cent, or 7.8p, to 512.4p.
Morgan Stanley raised Royal Bank of Scotland’s target price by 20p to 335p on the back of lower funding costs and expectation that it will soon restart paying dividends to shareholders.
Shares edged up 1.3 per cent, or 3.2p, to 257.7p.
Capita was the FTSE 250’s biggest riser after it offloaded its health and safety accreditation subsidiary, Supplier Assessment Services, to funds associated with Warburg Pincus for £160million.
The outsourcer also revealed it had been selected as the winning tenderer of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence and Fire Rescue project, but refused to give any details.
Shares jumped 7.7 per cent, or 11.7p, to 163.95p.
On AIM, shares in Koovs, dubbed the ‘Asos of India’, shot up 29.3 per cent, or 5.4p, to 23.8p.
It follows a 62 per cent rise the day before, when the retailer announced a tie-up with the owner of the Hindustan Times.
Ubisense, which specialises in making software and machines for factories, has won a contract to provide location services for military training exercises with an unnamed company worth at least £4million.
Shares fired 13.5 per cent, or 9p, higher to 75.5p.
Hvivo shares were given a shot in the arm following positive results from a flu vaccine trial.
The company’s Flu-v treatment, which is designed to protect against and reduce the symptoms of a host of flus, is now set to be tested on humans.
Hvivo’s shares boomed 114.5 per cent, or 35.5p, to 66.5p.