Belfast Telegraph

Game Digital profits crash due to 'challenging UK console market'

Retailer Game Digital revealed annual profits crashed more than 80% as it battled against a "challenging UK console market".

The chain posted pre-tax profits of £4.9 million for the 53 weeks to July 30 against £25.8 million the previous year after seeing sales tumble.

It reported sales by gross transaction value down 5.2% on a 42-week basis to £923.3 million

The group said it was seeing "s ignificant early progress" from its turnaround plan, with trading in the first 10 weeks since its year-end "in line with group plans".

But Game added it remained cautious over the year ahead.

Martyn Gibbs, chief executive of Game, said: "Market dynamics in the UK have undoubtedly been tough in the past year.

"The management team responded quickly to these new market conditions and have made significant progress with its action plan since January."

As part of its recovery, Game is pushing into new areas, such as e-sports and live gaming events.

It launched a number of trials in the UK, including a "gaming arena" in two stores - with plans for at least another 10 by the end of January.

Game said it is planning "significant" investment in this area over the next three years.

The group is also looking to a boost from a strong line-up of products, including highly-anticipated new virtual reality system launches.

Sony's PlayStation VR headset went on sale on Thursday in the UK.

Game shares fell 3% amid wider market falls.

Analysts at Liberum said: "The video games retail market declined 9% in the year across its markets, so Game did well to limit its top line decline to 5%."

They added it was "sensibly" investing into other growing areas, such as events, e-sports and digital sales.