Game shares slump 46pc on warning

Steve Dinneen
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GAME Group shares tumbled 46 per cent yesterday after it warned it will not hit its full-year targets.

The video games retailer was relying on the release of blockbuster titles including Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim to give it a much-needed boost in the run up to Christmas but those hopes appear to have receded.

The firm said it now expects revenues for the year to fall by at least seven per cent, compared to its forecasts of no more than a three per cent drop. Game has been rocked by a lack of new hardware releases, with the major manufacturers Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all squeezing every bit of mileage from their ageing consoles before bringing new ones to market.

Game added its revenues were lower across all categories – software, hardware, pre-owned and accessories – but were still ahead of an overall video games market down 12.3 per cent in the same period.

Its stock has now lost 94 per cent of its value since its peak in 2008 and 76 per cent over the last year.

Game is the first major UK retailer to warn on profits during the key run-up to Christmas.

Chief executive Ian Shepherd said: “The overall video games market remains very challenging, despite strong title launches, and our guidance today reflects the extraordinary economic times in which we are operating.

“We remain focused on delivering our strategy, controlling costs and driving operational cashflow, and we remain well placed to benefit in the medium term both from the next console cycle and the growth in digital and social gaming.”