Computer and video game retailer Game has announced robust sales growth, despite a slowing performance over the last 18 weeks.

In the 18 weeks to November 29, group sales grew 9.3 per cent, or 1.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

This represents a 27.4 per cent increase in total sales and a like-for-like uplift of 11.2 per cent over the 44 week period to the same date.

In the last 18 weeks, total sales in the UK and Ireland grew 4.7 per cent, representing a like-for-like increase of 1.8 per cent.

Over the 44 weeks, sales in the division were up 25.1 per cent with like-for-likes up 11.9 per cent.

International sales increase

The international division reported a total sales increase of 23.5 per cent or 0.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis over the last 18 weeks.

Over the 44 weeks, total sales overseas grew 33.9 per cent or 9.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Game chairman Peter Lewis said: “To date, our customers' spending patterns have remained relatively resilient considering the challenges in the wider economy. Our previous guidance is unchanged and the board remains confident of a successful outcome for the year.”

The retailer opened 183 stores in the year to date and will operate from 1,340 stores over the Christmas trading period. It added that the integration of its acquisition in the Czech Republic is “progressing well” and “trading is in line with expectations”.

Sector 'not immune' to downturn

Singer Capital Markets analyst Matthew McEachran said the slowing sales pattern indicates that "not even this sector is immune to the downturn".

He added that second half assumptions "might need to be trimmed back" in the light of the demise of Woolworths, which could impact sales and margins over the Christmas period, which represents around 35 per cent of Game's annual sales.