Wargames specialist Games Workshop returned to sales growth in the UK last year, when group turnover was flat despite a store closure programme.

Games Workshop, which also sells its product online and through independent stores, posted preliminary pre-tax profits up to£1.1 million, compared with a loss of£2.6 million the previous year. Sales were£110.3 million.

Last year, Games Workshop shut 22 of its Hobby shops in the UK, the Americas and on the Continent and opened eight, bringing the total to 334 internationally. There are 114 in the UK.

Store sales accounted for 49 per cent of Games Workshop’s group total, down from 50 per cent the previous year, while direct sales climbed from 11 per cent to 12 per cent.

Games Workshop chief executive Mark Wells said: “We have recently carried out a detailed geo-demographic review of our UK Hobby centre chain which indicates there are several potential locations for future Hobby centres, which we believe we can run profitably.

“We are investing in the training and recruitment of staff to enable us to recommence opening new Hobby centres in the UK to maximise the value of our largest business.”