For the six-week period ending January 8th, total group sales were down by 9.8 per cent, with like-for-like revenues down by 17.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, total sales for the UK and Ireland saw a drop of 15.1 per cent, with like-for-like revenues dropping by some 20.4 per cent. Total sales for Continental Europe, however, were up by 22.6 per cent and like-for-like sales up by 2.7 per cent.
Although the board expects that the performance in the second half of the year will be around 10 per cent higher than the same period last year (when the group achieved profits of £32.4m), it has revealed that like-for-like sales will be down for the full year.
Indeed, during the 49-week period ending January 8th, total group sales were down by 4.8 per cent, with like-for-like sales dipping by 12.1 per cent.
“The non-availability of console hardware in the run-up to Christmas was particularly disappointing after the strong start to the second half,” said chairman Peter Lewis.
“PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles were reduced to around £100, which created tremendous demand. Indeed, group like-for-like sales for the quarter to October 30th were ahead by 2.1 per cent.
“We remain confident regarding the medium-term prospects for GAME with the new handheld products, the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS, scheduled for the first half of 2005.”