Game reports drop in sales
This meant that over the 23 weeks to 7 January, gross transaction value declined by 6.3%.
Game said console gaming markets in the UK and Spain continued to be impacted by a further softening of demand as the industry entered its fourth year since the launch of the latest generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
In addition, despite some strong new releases in the period such as Pokémon Sun & Moon, a weaker overall year-on-year performance was delivered from new titles released in the period.
Game is continuing to focus on diversifying its retail businesses through the development of categories such as preowned phones and tablets, digital content, PC accessories, VR devices and licensed merchandise. In aggregate, sales of these new areas grew 31% in the 23-week period and contributed over 30% of group gross transaction value.
The company said trading conditions in the UK video games market remain tough, with lower console sales.
Martiyn Gibbs, Game chief executive said: “Overall demand for new games released in the period was lower than expected but we were pleased with the group's performance over the peak weeks of Black Friday and Christmas, with GTV excluding lower margin hardware sales up 2% year on year.
“Furthermore, over the period we continued to deliver significant operational efficiencies and cost savings whilst achieving strong growth in our new retail categories and new businesses. We remain focused on achieving further progress against these key strategic priorities in the year ahead.”
The company said sales from its newer events, esports and digital businesses grew a combined 80% over the period.
Looking ahead, Gibbs said: “We are encouraged by the strong consumer anticipation which is building for the launch of the Nintendo SwitchTM console in March this year, and beyond that to the launch of Xbox's Project Scorpio later in the year. We expect these new consoles to drive interest and activity in our core console markets, as well as open up new growth opportunities for our business."
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