Dominant British specialty video game retailer GAME Group Plc announced today that the company's total group sales for the 22 weeks leading to July 1 were up 21.1 percent, while like-for-like sales climbed 10.1 percent, despite poor recent results
for the the twelve months ending January 31st, 2006.
The increase was particularly boosted by sales of console hardware launched in the UK last year from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft - presumably the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and Microsoft Xbox 360 respectively, and shows that, despite transitional issues, the firm is moving in a positive direction.
In addition, company chairman Peter Lewis noted in a statement released today that the retailer is on track to open between 60 and 70 new stores this year, which will bring the Game Group's total number of stores to “nearly 800”, buoyancy of video game retail despite the console transition - apparently aided by handheld growth.
In an interview with Reuters
, GAME's chief executive Martin Long noted: "As we've moved into the new year, what we're very happy about is that we've continued with that strong sales growth, and the consumer appetite for those new technologies is still very strong."
The report added that in April the Game Group posted an 80 percent decline in pretax profits for the year, and that there was "no doubt" that this was due, at least in part, to the transition to next-generation consoles - the indication was that this decline would start to reverse itself as installed bases grew for the new consoles.
"The launch of the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3 in the last quarter (of 2006) would be a further boost," added Long, "but also from an industry perspective having those in the market for sale sets up the whole industry as a platform for many years to come."