Fantasy board game specialist Games Workshop has bucked the economic gloom to report a rise in pre-tax profit from £15.3m to £19.5m for the 53 weeks to June 3.

The company, which operates retail stores as well as a wholesale division, saw sales jump from £123.1m to £131m.

Total UK sales nudged up to £31.6m during the past year, up from £31m last year. Operating profit for the UK rose from £4.7m to £4.8m.

In a statement chief executive Mark Wells said the business had delivered a “good performance” and that all of its sales channels experienced growth during the year.

He added: “It is particularly encouraging to see like for like growth in the UK and North America, our two largest businesses, and there were also good performances from our Hobby centres in Northern Europe, Germany, Italy and Japan. We continued to open our successful one man Hobby centre format in new cities, particularly in Europe and North America, replacing unprofitable shopping centre stores.”

Games Workshop also boosted its number of stockists during the year, particularly in the UK and North America.

Its online operation also “delivered good growth”, according to Wells, citing that its in-store terminals, which offer access to its entire back catalogue of products, had performed well. Its global website had grown to account for 10% of sales.  

Wells added: “Games Workshop has had a good year. We have launched some great new products including the new Citadel paint range. We have made good progress on all our major initiatives. This has resulted in an encouraging level of volume growth. We have a strong management team and excellent staff who are committed to delivering a healthy return on capital. We have honoured our commitment to distribute genuinely surplus cash to our shareholders.”