Pre-eminent specialty game retailer GameStop has announced sales of $3.5 billion for the year to Jan 31st 2009, with increased profits, and is expecting 5-10% growth in new U.S. game sales in 2009.
Specifically, profits increased 22.4% to $232.3 million in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2008, and total sales for the fourth quarter increased 21.9% to $3.5 billion, with comparable store sales up 9.6% for the fourth quarter.
Over the entire year, revenues were up 38.2% to $398.3 million, and total sales for the full year increased 24.1% to $8.8 billion. Comparable store sales increased 12.3% for the full year.
GameStop CEO Daniel DeMatteo commented of the results: "In spite of the current worldwide retail environment, GameStop’s financial performance is being driven by delivering to consumers what they want: stores in a wide range of locations, knowledgeable associates and most importantly, options that provide value... In 2008, we opened or acquired 1,002 stores worldwide, including the acquisition of Micromania, the largest video game retailer in France.”
Going forward, the retailer cites key growth possibilities as "increasing consumer enthusiasm for our trade-in model", and "further expansion of video games as primary, mainstream entertainment", and expects 2009 to be another record year. The company is still predicting total sales growth between 10% and 12%, and comparable store sales of 4% and 6%.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2009 ending April 30th, GameStop expected comparable store sales to be flat to +2%, on top of the 27% comparable store sales increase from the prior year quarter when three major software titles were launched (Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart
, and Grand Theft Auto IV
According to the company, "Sales growth will be driven by continued strong demand for all new hardware systems, including Nintendo’s DSi, and a strong slate of new video game releases, including Capcom’s Street Fighter IV
and Resident Evil 5
and Microsoft’s Halo Wars
Finally, GameStop confirmed that for the U.S. market, they estimate that new video game software sales will increase between 5% and 10% in 2009.