Summary:

While most retailers hope the Christmas sales period will blow away the recession blues, video games sellers expect to fare better than most…

While most retailers hope the Christmas sales period will blow away the recession blues, video games sellers expect to fare better than most — but figures out today from Game Group show they’re are not immune from the downturn. It reported profits up 27.4 percent for the 44 weeks to 29 November, or 11.2 percent up on a like-for-like basis. In the UK and Ireland, total sales were up 25.1 percent, 11.9 percent on a like-for-like basis. For Game’s international business, sales were up by 33.9 percent and 9.3 percent on a like-for-like basis.

But that impressive growth has slowed in recent weeks: for the 18 weeks to 29 November, taking in the first flush of the Christmas spending spree, group sales were up 9.3 percent on the same period last year and only 1.5 percent up on a like-for-like basis. In the UK and Ireland during the same period sales rose 4.7 percent, 1.8 percent on a like-for-like basis. The interim statement says: “Our customers’ spending patterns have remained relatively resilient considering the challenges in the wider economy. Our previous guidance is unchanged and the board remains confident of a successful outcome for the year.”

Game remains a rampantly aggressive business and has opened 183 stores this year so far bringing its global total to 1,340 in the run-up to Christmas. But we will only get an idea of just how successful that crucial festive period was on January 13 when Games releases its Christmas trading results. Release.

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