Thursday 17 January 2019 9:49 am

Game Digital shares boosted by positive Christmas trading in Spain while UK sales fall

Video game retailer Game Digital’s shares shot up this morning as it announced a two per cent sales boost over the Christmas period, despite a drop in the UK market.

The company said despite a “challenging retail climate” causing group sales to dip 0.5 per cent over the festive weeks from Black Friday to 5 January, like for like group sales were up two per cent.

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Spain outperformed the UK, with a 4.9 per cent overall boost in sales over Christmas, versus a 4.1 per cent drop in Britain.

Meanwhile in the 23 weeks to 5 January, group like for like sales were up one per cent and overall sales down just 0.6 per cent.

Game’s chief executive, Martyn Gibbs, said the company traded “solidly over the Christmas period, with encouraging like for like sales in both territories”.

He said: “The group successfully delivered growth from exclusives, higher margin categories and our specialist customer offer over the Black Friday event, which all contributed to a pleasing margin outcome and helped to offset the continued, managed decline of preowned.

“Our supplier partners provided a strong line-up of exclusive content for key software releases over the 23 weeks and customer response and sales have been positive.

“The cost transformation programme enacted two years ago in the UK has gathered pace, enabling the Group to respond well to market changes and the economic uncertainty.”

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In October the company announced it was hiring former House of Fraser finance director Ray Kavanagh as the firm's new chief financial officer to see the business through a strategic turnaround.

Game Digital will will announce its half year results in March.