Game’s UK sales fell over the Christmas period with its Spanish business outperforming its British arm.

UK sales fell 4.1% in the seven weeks to January 5, dipping 0.3% on a like-for-like level. It performed better in the wider period with like-for-likes up 1.1% in the 23 weeks to January 5 and down 1.5% overall.

In Spain, the business fared much better with festive sales up 4.9% and like-for-likes up 4.8%.

At a group level, like-for-likes were up 2% and sales down 0.5% in the seven weeks and like-for-likes up 1% and sales down 0.6% in the 23 weeks.

Despite the poor sales, group trading margin improved over the seven weeks thanks to the performance of higher-margin exclusive products, a mix of higher-margin products and higher promotional margins. The business expects its full-year performance to be in line with expectations.

Game is attempting to reengineer its fortunes via three strategic pillars: improving its core specialist offer, expanding live services and creating organisational efficiencies.

It said that it had made progress on all three aims, improving its specialist offer with new software releases, adding two new Belong live gaming areas and achieving significant cost savings by renegotiating property leases.

Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said: “The group successfully delivered growth from exclusives, higher-margin categories and our specialist customer offer over the Black Friday event, which all contributed to a pleasing margin outcome and helped to offset the continued, managed decline of preowned.

“Our multichannel focus has delivered both trading margin growth and cost savings, while paid-for services, such as multiple delivery options, have been well received by customers.

“Our supplier partners provided a strong line-up of exclusive content for key software releases over the 23 weeks and customer response and sales have been positive.”