Game has reported a pre-tax loss of £18.8m in its first half, against a profit of £14.5m in the same period last year, while revenue also slumped.
For the 26 weeks to July 31, group revenues were down 9.6% and like-for-like sales were down 10.9%. Online revenues were up just 2%. In the UK and Ireland, total sales fell 17.8% and like-for-likes were down 16.2%.
In the 34 weeks to September 25, Game said group sales were down 9.3%. UK and Ireland total store sales were down by 16.7% and international store sales and total online sales were up by 2.9% and 2.7% respectively. Group like-for-like sales were down 10%, with UK and Ireland like-for-like sales down 14.8%.
Chairman Peter Lewis said: “As expected, we have returned to our traditional seasonal trading profile with losses reported in the first half and all profits being made in the second half.
“Whilst the board remains mindful of the prevailing tough market conditions, we believe that the group is taking the right steps to position itself ahead of the next pc and video games cycle. We will continue our focus on operational efficiency, maintaining customer loyalty, and expanding our multi channel proposition, while maximising market share on key product launches. We believe that the profile of products launching in the second half should play well to the specialist retailer and our business is ready to maximise these opportunities.”
For the first half, the retailer said the UK market was down largely due to revenue declines from Nintendo products, which enjoyed huge growth in 2008 and 2009. Game also said margins were hit by promotional activity.
It has attempted to cut costs through cutting store and headcount numbers, astute investment and creating a multichannel offer. In the underperforming markets of France and Australia, it has made changes to the local management teams and property portfolios.
Lewis said Game is “well positioned to benefit from the imminent launch of new motion sensing technology and the extensive range of Christmas software releases”.
New chief executive Ian Shepherd joined Game in June.