Computer entertainment retailer Game has reported a 15.4 per cent fall in group like-for-like sales in the 21 weeks to June 27.

In the core UK and Ireland division, total sales slid 12.4 per cent and comparable store sales declined 15.8 per cent.

However, chairman Peter Lewis said the business was performing “in line with expectations” against a strong comparative period last year when like-for-likes leaped 25 per cent.

Lewis said: “We have seen good gross margin growth due to higher margin software and accessory sales being a larger part of the sales mix and our pre-owned proposition continuing to perform well.”

Game expects interim profits to be “in line with plan” at between £13m and £16m – less than half of last year’s £36.4m. Lewis said: “The profit performance last half-year was exceptional and this half-year should be viewed in the context of our seasonal business, when customarily all group profits are made in the second half.”

He said full-year performance would be driven by the increased ownership of game consoles, which will increase demand for software and that the second half software line-up is “very encouraging”.

But Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said: “Against our full-year assumptions the performance in the second half is now looking quite stretched, and assumes a significant pick-up in like-for-like trends and sales transfer from failed competition – Woolies and Zavvi. There is now little room for disappointment.”