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GAME reports sales decline, 'overall market very challenging'

Software, hardware, pre-owned and accessories revenue all down on last year

GAME Group has reported a significant drop in sales for the 41 week period to November 12, 2011.

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In an interim management statement released this morning, the firm said total group (GAME and Gamestation) sales were down 10.6 percent following declines in revenue generated from software, hardware, pre-owned and accessories.

However, the firm pointed out that the decline was ahead of the overall video games market, which was down 12.3 percent in the same period.

"The performance of the market is below our expectations... Major software titles are launching in line with first week expectations, but are then seeing a quicker tail-off than historically experienced. Customer footfall and basket sizes are down reflecting wider consumer uncertainty."

GAME CEO Ian Shepherd added: "The overall video games market remains very challenging, despite strong title launches, and our guidance today reflects the extraordinary economic times in which we are operating.

"GAME has outperformed the market, reinforcing our position as market leader, and I am hugely proud of our teams. They remain focussed on delivering our strategy, controlling costs and driving operational cashflow, and we remain well placed to benefit in the medium term both from the next console cycle and the growth in digital and social gaming."

Driven by the launch of Modern Warfare 3, UK game sales generated more revenue last week than any other on record, according to data passed along by GfK Chart Track.

This should also be a good week for the business, with high profile new releases including Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Need for Speed: The Run, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Saints Row: The Third. It's a great month to be a gamer, assuming you have a healthy bank balance.

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