Belfast Telegraph

Game takes £10m hit after poor Christmas

By Holly Williams

Retailer Game Digital saw half-year profits tumble by nearly a third amid "challenging" trading after being hit by weaker-than-expected sales of computer games.

The group, which has more than 320 stores in the UK and eight across Northern Ireland, revealed pre-tax profits slumped more than £10m to £22.5m in the six months to January 23, down from £33.2m a year earlier.

It was one of the casualties on the high street over Christmas after seeing sales of old-format games for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles plunge, while sales of games consoles were also sharply lower.

Game warned over profits just before Christmas Eve after the dire festive trading.

But it said in its half-year results that trading had started to turn around, with improved sales since Christmas.

It added that on an underlying basis, earnings fell less than feared, down 23% to £33.1m in its first half. It additionally said it expected to deliver a "small, positive" earnings results for the second half of the year.

Game also revealed it launched a company-wide review in January following the disappointing Christmas performance, which will see it refocus on new growth areas while also considering possible shop closures.

Martyn Gibbs, chief executive of Game, said: "Operating in the fast-paced video games industry continues to present both opportunities and challenges to our business."

Belfast Telegraph