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UK's Game Group Sales Decline, Used Game Sales Grow

In an interim statement from UK retailer Game Group for the 44 weeks through December 4, the company reported a 9 percent decline in sales, although used game revenues have grown year-on-year.
Sales at UK retailer Game Group declined year-on-year during the 44 weeks through December 4, as performance in the UK and Ireland drove the slide in revenues, the company said Wednesday in an interim management statement. Total sales for the period were down 9 percent, while comparable store sales (which don't take into account stores opened in the current year) were down 8 percent. The company did not reveal dollar figures in its interim report. UK and Ireland together saw total sales drop 15 percent, as comparable store sales fell 12 percent. Sales for Game's international business dropped 2 percent, and half a percent for comparable store sales. Online sales were down 1 percent. "We have been encouraged by the like for like sales trends we have seen since the half year," said Game Group chairman Peter Lewis. "The difficult market has benefited from a strong launch schedule of new software titles and peripherals, and we have remained committed to our focus on market share." Lewis said Game was still able to maintain its leading market share during the 44 weeks, thanks in part to strong sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops from Activision and FIFA 11 from EA Sports. Used game sales continue to grow for Game, as the category is expected to account for 25 percent of the retailer's sales for this year, up from 21 percent in 2009. Game currently operates 1,319 stores. Lewis added that there are "some positive indicators" that could lead to a strong finish to the year, but Game is still cautious about full-year results. "Our most significant weeks are still ahead of us, historically representing over 25 percent of our annual revenues, and every part of our business is primed to deliver everything our customers need," he said. Game also revealed the current generation console install base in the UK stood at 32.4 million as of December 4, up from 27.2 million in 2009 and 20.4 million in 2008. But year-to-date hardware revenues for this year are down 26 percent compared to last year.

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