New consoles boost Christmas sales at retailer Game

Wednesday 15 January 2014 16.10
Games reports 83% jump in total sales in the six weeks to January 4
Games reports 83% jump in total sales in the six weeks to January 4

Game has reported a significant rise in Christmas sales helped by new console launches ahead of a possible return to the stock market.

The UK video games retailer bought out of administration by private equity investors last year. 

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Game was close to appointing advisors for an initial public offering expected to take place later this year.

The company declined to comment on a possible float.

The video games retailer reported a 83% rise in total sales in the six weeks to January 4, with a 213% jump in online sales.

Like-for-like store sales, which strip out the closure of shops, rose by 90%, the company said. Around half of the chain's roughly 600 UK premises have closed since April 2012.

Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said two new games consoles, both released in November, had helped boost sales during the festive period.

"This strong overall performance for our second peak trading period was driven by our ability to capitalise on the hugely successful launches of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4," he said.

"This was supported by the release of well-received new games, significant growth in online and digital sales and the continued success of our pre-owned games offering," he added.

The firm, which employs approximately 3,000 staff in 320 stores, appointed PwC as its administrator after failing to find a buyer for the business in March 2012, and is now owned by private equity investors including OpCapita.