Enviable year-end results make up for bad news over potential buy-out
Game's turnover fell year on year, but profits grew by almost a third in the 12 months to January 31. Turnover at the retailer was£576.6 million last year, down 5 per cent compared with the previous year. However, the retailer increased profit before tax and goodwill amortisation during the period, from£31.9 million to£24.3 million.

The retailer said its overseas expansion had yielded a profit at its mainland European operations for the first time and that strong sales had been achieved by the group overall, despite acute supply shortages of consoles over Christmas, contributing to the sales shortfall. Like-for-like sales in the first 11 weeks of the current year to April 16 are up 8 per cent.

Game chairman Peter Lewis said the coming year would be a transitional one and depend greatly on the performance of new Nintendo and Sony handheld formats. He warned it would also be characterised by software price deflation, as suppliers gear up for console launches next year.

He said: 'We expect the trading environment throughout the year, but more particularly in the second half, will be challenging, as a result of strong software comparatives and ongoing price deflation. Nevertheless, we continue to expect a satisfactory trading outcome for the year as a whole.'

The results will come as a relief to shareholders, who were dismayed by reports that a prospective bidder for the retailer had pulled out of discussions yesterday, sending Game's share price plunging by 20 per cent.