Game’s sales were flat last year but the business reported positive progress on its gaming arenas, on which it has partnered with Mike Ashley

Gross transaction value edged up 1.8% to £907.2m in the year to July 28, 2018, although second-half sales were down 1.6%.

Revenue declined from £782.9m to £780m on a statutory basis, the business reported in a pre-close update.

Game said growth was coming from lower-margin areas and that its pre-owned business was continuing to be challenging. However, it added that the sales of premium new releases such as God of War 3 had been encouraging.

The business expanded its Belong gaming arenas by 16% following a funding tie-up with Sports Direct in February and is now ready to accelerate growth during its next financial year.

The first Belong arena under the partnership opened in Westfield Stratford on August 17. A second arena is set to open in Lakeside Thurrock in September.


Game is focusing on bringing costs down by renegotiating leases. It also “reorganised” its head office and distribution centre teams during its second half.

Former House of Fraser finance director Ray Kavanagh succeeded Martin Hopcroft as interim CFO.

Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said: “We have made further progress in the second half of the year to right-size the UK retail business by reducing the cost base, whilst capitalising on all market opportunities to address the challenges and changes in the UK retail market. This review of costs will continue into the next financial year.”