Officials from the predominant European video game retailer Game Group PLC have announced the company’s most recent financial results, ahead of the company’s Annual General Meeting today, showing disappointing and slightly declining retail sales on an individual store basis.
In the first twenty-two weeks to July 2nd 2005, Game's sales per store compared to the same period last year were down by 2.6 percent, although, in contrast to this news, total sales for the company were up by 6.3 percent.
The situation was particularly poor in the UK and Ireland, where total sales were up by 0.5 percent and individual store sales were down by 5.4 percent. However, Continental Europe was a bright spot, with total sales rising by 37.2 percent, and individual store sales up by 12.0 percent.
The company cites the successful launch of the Nintendo DS in March as improving an otherwise difficult retail environment. In publically released comments, company chairman Peter Lewis has suggested that the September launch of the PSP in Europe will significantly help the market in the second half of the year, as well as the launch of the Xbox 360.
However, in the short-term, prospects are less promising, with Game commenting of the slowdown: "The company does not expect the situation to improve markedly and anticipates ongoing price deflation and a continued lack of strong software releases."
Finally, despite the cyclical slowdown, Game Group plans to continue its store opening program, which is on track for 80 new stores this year, which should make for a total of over 700 by the Christmas trading period.