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GAME suffers £18.8 million loss in first half

Retailer to close 85 UK stores by Christmas 2013 as well as cuts for Australia and France

Specialist retailer GAME has revealed an £18.8 million loss for the first half of 2010, compared to a profit for £14.5 million for the same six month period in 2009.

The retailer continues to consolidate stores it says "over-lap", with 30 shut in the past 12 months - plus plans to shutter 85 stores in the UK by Christmas 2013, to a proposed total of 550 locations. It also expects "a number of store closures" in France as well as "a rationalisation of the store portfolio" in Australia.

Group revenues were down 9.6 per cent to £924.6 million and sales down 10.9 per cent for the period. While the decline was expected, chairman Peter Lewis pointed to an increase in market share as a highlight of the 26 weeks to July 31.

"Against the backdrop of a very challenging marketplace and an uncertain economy, we have increased market share in all of our territories since January and maintained our leading position in Europe," he said.

"Whilst the board remains mindful of the prevailing tough market conditions, we believe that the group is taking the right steps to position itself ahead of the next PC and videogames cycle. We will continue our focus on operational efficiency, maintaining customer loyalty, and expanding our multi-channel proposition, while maximising market share on key product launches.

"We believe that the profile of products launching in the second half should play well to the specialist retailer and our business is ready to maximise these opportunities," he added.

GAME said it maintains the leading position in pre-owned game sales - second hand stock accounts for 38.5 per cent of gross margin compared to 19.4 per cent for new hardware and software combined.

The group said that overall UK market revenues was down 17.1 per cent, largely due to a decline in the sale of Nintendo products.

According to GfK Chart-Track, year-to-date Wii revenues are down 40 per cent, while Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 revenues are up 16 and 17 per cent, respectively.

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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.

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