Game’s group like-for-likes slumped 15.1% in the 44 weeks to December 5, but the retailer claimed it had continued to take market share.

Total group sales dropped 10.8% in the period, while in the UK and Ireland like-for-likes fell 16.6%, with total sales declining 14.3%. Like-for-like sales fell 11.5% in its international arm during the 44 week period.

In the 18 weeks to December 5, group like-for-likes declined 13.9%, down 16.6% in the UK and Ireland.

Chief executive Lisa Morgan said “the market was expecting that overall values would be down”, adding that supermarkets’ pricing activity had led to the market becoming “increasingly aggressive”.

She said: “It’s a pretty tough market out there, but we’ve been able to grow our market share.” She said Game’s pre-owned offer was “key” to this growth, as well as “phenomenal” performances from Fifa 10 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

However, the 1,406-store retailer said gains were “in part offset by softer than expected sales of some other releases”.
Morgan said Game, which embarked on its biggest ever Christmas campaign this year, is “hoping for a very strong selling period”.

She expected Game to benefit from Woolworths’ demise over the festive period, and is aiming to target Woolworths’ core mass market, female customer.

Singer Capital Markets analyst Mark Photiades said: “This is clearly slightly worse than we had assumed.” But he added: “The pipeline for software releases in the new year is believed to be strong.”