GAME posts record first half profits

UK retail’s leading games specialist is in rude health, having revealed its interim results for the first six months ended July 31st 2008.

The main highlights were record first half profits of 36.4m before non-recurring costs and tax, total Group sales growth of 54.1 per cent and a like-for-like sales rise of 22.2 per cent.

The results also emphasised good international performance with sales up 64.2 per cent and like-for-like sales up 17.4 per cent. GAME Group is readying an acquisiton of a specialist chain in the Czech Republic, which will boost the Group’s presence there by an extra 19 stores.

Meanwhile in the UK, a 33 store concession deal with Borders will give the chain another boost. Gamestation integration is progressing ‘better than anticipated’ according to the financials, with the Group on track for 9 million worth of synergies in the current year – an increase of 2m from its prior guidance.

GAME Group aslo revealed that its store portfolio will be over 1,300 by the key Christmas trading season compared to 1,150 at the same time last year.

Given the glowing financials, it’s no surprise to see GAME Group raise its guidance on full year like-for-like sales performance from 5-10 per cent to 8-12 per cent.

The business has performed extremely well with both turnover and profit growth throughout the Group,” said chairman Peter Lewis.

We deliver a compelling customer experience. Our specialist proposition is centred around customer service, our pre-owned offer, our Reward Card and our online capabilities, all of which have contributed to this success.”

The third generation consoles are all in good supply. Demand has continued to be strong and the installed console base now stands at over 17.3 million in the key UK market.”

This level of console ownership has been achieved in just three years compared to second generation consoles which took a seven year period from 2000 until 2007 to reach similar levels.”

We recognise the extraordinarily challenging and uncertain market conditions in which we are operating today, and we cannot be immune to wider economic uncertainties.”

However, we continue to be encouraged by the ongoing demand for third generation hardware and software which is in part being driven by the broadening demographic appeal. In addition, playing games provides a more affordable alternative to many other family leisure activities and we remain committed to delivering our customers the widest choice and value for money.”

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