GAME’s share price up 8% as New Year sales improve

GAME’s share price has improved slightly – up 8 per cent – after the retailer said its Christmas and New Year’s sales were not as bad as it feared.

Sales trends improved for the three-week period ending January 9th, 2016, with transactions down 0.4 per cent. The retailer now repeats its forecast of hitting 30m in earnings for the period ending January 23rd, 2016.

However, the company will be looking to make operational efficiencies in order to deal with the challenges in the UK market. The firm said it is already implementing multiple initiatives.

On behalf of the Group, I would like to thank the GAME and Multiplay teams across the UK and Spain who have once again worked exceptionally hard serving our customers and gaming communities over the busiest period of the year,” CEO Martyn Gibbs said in a statement.

We also recognise the valuable and ongoing support from our supplier partners in delivering our competitive proposition.

As outlined in our previous trading update, recent trading conditions in the UK video games market have been challenging, impacting GAME UK’s peak trading performance. However, we have seen a better market and an improved sales trend over the last three weeks. The strong performance in Spain in the first 21 weeks of the year has also continued over our most recent trading period.

We are committed to taking appropriate actions to respond to the market challenges that we face in the UK market. Alongside pursuing commercial developments we are focused on driving further operational efficiencies and the Group has already begun to implement a series of initiatives to deliver an improvement in the profitability of our UK business.

Looking forward, we see a solid schedule of new games releases planned during the second half of our financial year. We also anticipate thatnew technology releases this year, in particular the launch of Virtual Reality devices, will lead to increased consumer interest which will benefitGAMEas customers seek expert advice and specialist service.

"We believe that these factors, together with the continued move towards high margin new format3 mint and preowned software and accessories and a growing contribution from the Group’s newer categories and businesses, including GAMEtronics and Multiplay, will support margin growth in our second half and beyond.”

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