Game’s sales jumped during the golden quarter as it capitalised on high demand for new games consoles and “more “appealing” game releases.

The game specialist said group gross transaction value (GTV) rose 5.2% during its nine-week peak trading period to January 6.

Retail sales in the UK advanced 2.9%, the business said in a trading statement ahead of its AGM later this month.

Game boss Martyn Gibbs put its positive Christmas performance down to strong customer demand for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation hardware and VR sales, the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One X and “a more appealing line-up of new software titles” compared to the same time last year.

He said: “Over the peak period, Game focused on its core trading in all channels across both its geographies in highly competitive markets while delivering further cost savings in UK retail and made good progress with its strategic initiatives.”

Interim results 

Across the 23 weeks to January 6, group GTV was up 3.8% and UK sales edged up 0.6%.

The business, which is in the process of diversifying in order to stay relevant in a fast-changing and competitive market, said it has delivered cost savings in the UK in excess of the £4m it previously estimated.

“These additional cost savings mean our performance remains on track; as ever our full-year result will also be subject to continued availability of consoles, such as Nintendo Switch, and the timing and success of new game releases,” Gibbs said.

The retailer added that its Belong in-store gaming arenas continue to perform well and pointed to “further positive developments” with its Esports and Events division.

“We have exciting plans to open our first two arenas in Spain later this year,” Gibbs said. 

In its last full year, Game reported a statutory pre-tax loss of £10m, compared with a pre-tax profit of £1.1m the previous year, as it battled with a ‘volatile’ UK gaming market and invested in its fledgling events and esports business. 

In its core retail business, EBITDA slumped 51% to £14m, while group EBITDA tumbled 69% to £8m.