Game expects to exceed profit expectations after strong Christmas trading.

In the six weeks to January 10 comparable store sales in the UK and Ireland increased 10 per cent and total sales jumped 16.3 per cent. The game retailer benefited from the collapse of rivals Zavvi and Woolworths.

Like-for-likes climbed 11.4 per cent in the UK and Ireland for the 50 weeks to January 10. Group like-for-like sales increased 9.5 per cent and total group sales rocketed 24.2 per cent.

Chairman Peter Lewis said: “The board now expects the group profit before non-recurring costs and tax to be slightly ahead of market expectations.”

Chief executive Lisa Morgan said no new hardware releases are expected this year, but that Game will benefit from an anticipated price cut on Sony’s PlayStation 3.

Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George reiterated his buy recommendation. He said the like-for-like growth was “well ahead of our expectations of 2 per cent”.

But Teathers analyst Mark Gibbon was concerned about the threat of increased competition in second-hand games – a market into which HMV is pushing.