Officials from UK based video games retailer GAME Group have released a trading update detailing the company’s performance over the Christmas period and for the 50 weeks to January 12th 2008.
For the six week period ended January 12th 2008 total group sales, including recent acquisition Gamestation, increased by 76.3 percent, with like-for-like sales excluding Gamestation up by 31.9 percent. In the UK and Ireland, total sales were up by 77.9 percent (30.3 percent like-for-like) while international sales rose by 72.8 percent (35.4 percent like-for-like).
For the 50 week period ended on January 12th 2008 total group sales were up 86.7 percent, with like-for-like sales up 41.7 percent. Sales in the UK and Ireland were up 89.6 percent (42.9 percent like-for-like) and international sales rose by 79.0 percent (38.5 percent like-for-like).
The company indicated its bestselling multiformat games were Electronic Arts’ FIFA 08
, Activision’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
, Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
, Electronic Arts’ The Simpsons Game
and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed
. With demand still exceeding supply, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
and the two Brain Training
(aka Brain Age
) games were described as enjoying an “exceptional performance”.
The company also noted that the gross margin for this year will be around 290 basis points lower than the previous year, due to the increase in hardware sales (where profit margins are substantially lower) and overall lower margins from Gamestation. Despite this group profit before non-recurring costs and tax for the fiscal year to January 31st is expected to be no less than £73 million ($143.9m). This compares to £29.5 million ($58.1m) in 2007.
“The Group has delivered an outstanding Christmas sales performance particularly given the very strong comparatives for the prior year period when the Nintendo Wii launched. The management team and all of our employees have done an excellent job in delivering a market leading performance for the third consecutive Christmas,” said chairman Peter Lewis.
“Our customer demographics are changing, with more women and mature gamers buying products than ever before. Our strategy of evolving our specialist proposition to meet the demands of these customers has driven our record growth.”