Tough first half for GAME

But the specialist retail giant remains confident of growth and hopes to avoid a battering from the ever-watchful City by increasing dividends and pointing towards new systems and overall market growth.

Sales during the half-year rose to £220.8m, whilst losses hit £10.3m – up from £3.6m during the same period in 2004. As anticipated, like-for-like turnover was down 5.4 per cent.

“2005 has been and continues to be a transitional year. The significant price deflation as the current generation of consoles reach maturity, the lack of hardware launches and the tough retail environment have resulted in significant first half losses,” said chairman Peter Lewis.

“But the second half offers better opportunities given the strong launch sales of PSP and the solid Christmas software line-up. The benefits of our recent investments will come through in 2006, with a steady supply of the Sony PSP, Microsoft Xbox 360, then the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Revolution.

“These new platforms will greatly increase demand for video games and the board's confidence in the group's future is reinforced by the decision to increase the interim dividend by 15%.”

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