Game bullish for full-year despite fresh competition

COMPUTER games retailer Game Group posted 2.1 per cent lower like-for-like sales over Christmas and said annual profit would be within analysts expectations despite increasing competition from downloads.

The company has been hit by an absence of new console launches in 2010, increased competition from supermarkets and changing gaming habits, with people increasingly playing mobile and social media games instead of buying pre-packaged titles.

Game, which trades from more than 1,300 stores in Britain, Europe and Australia, said its pre-tax profit for the year to the end of January would be between £37m and £39m. It said it expected trading to remain challenging in 2011, but it had hopes that the launch of Nintendo’s new handheld 3DS and an exciting line-up of new games would boost the market. Shares closed 15.7 per cent higher at 172p yesterday as the market expected weaker figures.