Game’s two most senior executives, including chief executive Lisa Morgan, have stepped down from the business as it revealed sharp falls in full year profits and turnover, and announced plans to close more than 100 stores.
Morgan has stepped down to “pursue other opportunities” while chief operating officer Terry Scicluna will also leave, after a handover period.
The retailer has appointed non-executive director Chris Bell, previously chief executive of betting chain Ladbrokes, to the position of interim chief executive while it searches for a new one.
Martyn Gibbs, Game group managing director of UK and Eire, will take up responsibility for UK operating activities.
Game said “this is the right time for a new chief executive to lead the business through the next stage in its development”.
In the year to January 31 group turnover declined 10% to £1.8bn while pre-tax profit slumped 28% to £84m, although the retailer said it “outperformed the market” in a “very difficult trading environment”.
Profit before tax and non-recurring items declined 27% to £90.4m - the second best performance in the retailer’s history after last year’s record-breaking profits.
Group like-for-likes fell 15%.
In the UK and Ireland, total sales decreased by 16.6% and like-for-likes dropped 17.3%. Online sales fell 9.1%.
In the 11 weeks to April 17, group like-for-likes declined 14.4% while group total sales fell 13.3%.
In the UK and Ireland, like-for-likes dropped 20.1% while revenue decreased 20.8% in the 11 week period.
In Game’s International business, total sales were up by 1.7% and like-for-likes on a constant currency basis fell 3.9%. Online declined 3.5% per cent.
Group gross margin improved by 170 basis points, “principally due to an increase in higher margin pre-owned products”.
The completed Gamestation integration delivered £16m of synergies.
The retailer operates 677 stores across two brands in the UK, but will reduce this number to 550 by Christmas 2013 as it seeks to “minimise store overlap”.
Game chairman Peter Lewis said: “I would like to thank Lisa for her exceptional contribution over the last 14 years. Her focus on, and knowledge of, our customers and industry has helped to establish our strong market leading position in Europe.”
He added: “The Group has delivered the second best trading performance in its history. Our results were delivered against the backdrop of a very difficult trading environment, which saw the global pc and video games market decline by over 20 per cent. We outperformed the market and our performance can be attributed to our position as the market leading specialist, our strength in pre-owned, our multi-channel customer offer and disciplined operational management.
“Whilst we remain mindful of the challenging market in which we operate, the forthcoming new technology further enhances the profile of the specialist retailer. This, together with our value driven offer to maintain a market leading position, investment in new channels to market, and our focus on cost reductions leads the Board to be confident in the Group’s future prospects.”