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GAME sales up, but Nintendo shortages still impacting business

Group sales jump 54 per cent, but international sales suffer due to "insufficient supply of Nintendo product"

The GAME Group has issued sales data for the first half of 2008, showing group sales up by 54 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 24.8 per cent.

While performance in the UK and Ireland is leading the group – sales were up 58.2 per cent and like-for-likes 28.1 per cent – international like-for-like growth has taken a knock due to shortages of Nintendo hardware and software.

"Our International business is performing strongly albeit the like-for-like performance is slightly lower than the UK and Ireland primarily due to insufficient supply of Nintendo product particularly in Spain," said Peter Lewis, chairman of the retail chain.

Total international sales for the six months ended June 28 were up 43.9 per cent, with like-for-like sales 16.9 per cent.

"The PC and videogames market has continued to grow strongly in this period and I am pleased to report that GAME is performing slightly ahead of our expectations for the first half of the year," added Lewis.

Ahead of today's Annual General Meeting, the company has reported that the integration of former rival chain Gamestation is going to plan, with Gamestation expected to generate around GBP 7 million during this financial year.

Today, the group also announced the appointment of Google MD Dennis Woodside to the board, who will help the retailer strengthen its online ambitions.

GAME expects to open around 60 new stores before the end of the year, primarily in international regions, and it will continue to buy-in or close down existing franchises, such as the five stores it has recently purchased in France.

Key titles for the retailer this year have been Grand Theft Auto IV, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

The company noted that an impressive installed base of third-generation hardware has prompted sales of higher margin software over the six months, with the company expecting no less than GBP 33 million in profit before tax.

In response to the difficult High Street trading conditions and wider economic environment the company said it will "work hard on delivering competitive consumer offers and promoting the value associated with our successful pre-owned offer."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.