Video and games rental specialist suffered from long hot summer and so-so releases
UK Video and game rental and retail specialist Blockbuster Entertainment decreased sales and margins in its latest yearly report. Turnover was down from£289.8 million in the equivalent period in 2002 to£285.4 million for the year ended December 31 last year. Profit on ordinary activities before taxation has tumbled from 18.4 million in 2002 to£3.3 million.

The retailer put poor revenues down to the unusually hot summer last year. It said: 'Trading during 2003 proved to be very challenging. In particular, the high-margin rental business was impacted by the unprecedented hot weather during most of the summer, as well as a comparatively weak release schedule. Gross margin declined by 2.1 per cent due to a mix shift in revenues away from rental to sell-through product.'

The retailer said that trading in the first half of 2004 was better compared with last year. Rentals were up because of a stronger film release schedule.

For more details on this story, see Retail Week this Friday