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GAME CEO resigns after 28% profit drop

Lisa Morgan steps down after four years in the role; ex-Ladbrokes boss appointed interim chief

GAME has announced that CEO Lisa Morgan has resigned from her position at the UK retailer, shortly after announcing that its profits had fallen by 28 per cent in the past year.

Morgan, who joined the company in 1996, before taking on the role of CEO in 2006, will be replaced on a temporary basis by former Ladbrokes CEO, and GAME non-executive director, Chris Bell - with the firm now searching for a full time replacement.

The company's COO, Terry Scicluna, has also resigned, although he will remain with the business through the handover period.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Lisa for her exceptional contribution over the last 14 years," said chairman Peter Lewis in a statement. "She joined GAME when we had less than 200 stores, was appointed to the Board in January 2000, and became CEO in 2006. Her focus on, and knowledge of, our customers and industry has helped to establish our strong market leading position in Europe.

"We have commenced the search for a new CEO. In the meantime I am delighted that Chris has agreed to take on this role on an interim basis as the company moves into the next phase of its development."

Total company profits for the year to the end of March 2010 stood at £84.2 million, down from £117.4 million, a fall which the company blamed on a general slowdown in videogame sales.

Headline revenues were down by 10 per cent to £1.8 billion with EPS falling by 28 per cent to 17.45p.

However, the company noted that it actually delivered its "second best trading performance in its history" and cited an overall industry decline of 20 per cent.

"We outperformed the market and our performance can be attributed to our position as the market leading specialist, our strength in pre-owned, our multi-channel customer offer and disciplined operational management," read a statement.

"Complementing our traditional store offer, we are today announcing the launch of a number of initiatives to strengthen our position in the growing e-commerce and digital markets.

"Whilst we remain mindful of the challenging market in which we operate, the forthcoming new technology further enhances the profile of the specialist retailer. This, together with our value driven offer to maintain a market leading position, investment in new channels to market, and our focus on cost reductions leads the Board to be confident in the Group's future prospects."

But the markets reacted badly to the double dose of bad news, and GAME Group shares fell by over 12 per cent 88.7p as trading began on Wednesday.

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