Confident GAME's losses cut in half

The market-leading games retailer also confirmed that it had opened or acquired 39 stores and closed 12 as part of continuing portfolio management. This brings the expected store count to 410 in the UK and Ireland, as well as 320 stores and 35 franchises in continental Europe. The retailer also has keen ambitious in Australia, where it now has 18 owned and eight franchised stores. The results revealed that GAME expects to have spent £22 million in the territory in the first half of the year.

Pretax losses in the six months to July 31st were £7.1m, down from £14.7m reported last year. Group turnover during the period £272.9m, up considerably from the previous year’s figure of £220.8m. GAME made an operating loss before interest and non-recurring costs of £5.6m in the first half of the year. This compares favourably with the £10.3m quoted in last year’s report.

“The Board remains confident that this year will be better than last and to date our performance has been encouraging,” said GAME chairman Peter Lewis.

“Hardware for the Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS and PS2 is in free supply and consumer demand remains strong and with around 800 stores trading through the key Christmas trading season, GAME is well positioned to benefit. We are looking forward to Christmas 2006 and beyond as the next generation consoles continue to launch with the Nintendo Wii due to launch in December 2006 and Sony Playstation 3 due to launch in March 2007.”

“The Board has increased the interim dividend by 10 per cent reflecting our confidence in the future,” he added.

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