Games Workshop said a customer-centric strategy of building a global business around its own high-quality miniatures within its own Warhammer universe had helped it turn in its best year yet.
Revenue came in at £256.6m in the year to June 2, 16% up from £221.3m a year ago. Pre-tax profits of £81.3m were 9.5% ahead of the £74.3m reported last year.
Kevin Rountree, chief executive of Games Workshop, said: “An amazing set of results – the best year in Games Workshop’s history so far. You can once again see from these results that our business and the Warhammer Hobby are in good shape. The board and I continue to believe that the prospects for the business are good.”
The retailer, ranked Top350 in IRUK Top500 research, added, in its full-year results statement today: “Our ambitions remain clear: to make the best fantasy miniatures in the world, to engage and inspire our customers globally at a profit. We intend to do this forever. Our decisions are focused on long-term success, not short-term gains.”
Games Workshop’ 517 owned stores in 23 countries accounted for 34% of its sales (37% in 2018), while 19% (20% 2018) of sales were made online. Shoppers can buy online in-store through web store terminals in all of its shops. But a growing 47% (43% 2018) of its sales are made through a telesales team serving third-party retailers around the world. Those trade retailers then sell either online, through their own stores, or a combination of the two.
During the year it opened 40 of its own stores, mostly in its one-man store format in North America but also including its first in southern China, adding to five in Shanghai, and opened 600 new trade accounts. In the coming year it plans to open 25 stores mostly in North America and Germany. It also launched a Warhammer online store on a Chinese ecommerce platform, offering a limited range of goods. Over the year retail sales grew by 7% while online sales grew by 5%. Trade sales were 29% ahead.
Games Workshop says that its marketing keeps it customer-focused, with a team that acts as a bridge between its products and its sales. “Marketing spends a lot of time listening and developing a two way dialogue with our customers to make sure we keep their needs at the forefront, championing the Warhammer Hobby around the globe and injecting our content and communications with a real sense of passion and fun,” said the Nottingham-based company in today’s figures.
It also measures its customer focus by monitoring its customer service, and its engagement with customers through its content channel warhammer-community.com and the reach of its social platforms. In the last year, it said, it engaged with more customers than ever before: 6m users notched up 114m impressions on warhammer-community.com.
Last month it signed a development deal to bring one of its Warhammer stories, Eisenhorn, to TV. It is also in the production stage of its own Angels of Death animated series, which is likely to launch on its own Warhammer TV site. Games Workshop is a sponsor of the Scouts model maker activity badge and is also involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
Games Workshop says it has outgrown its Nottingham warehouse and is to add another rented warehouse where it will invest £5m in fitting out. It is spending a similar amount to refit its Memphis, Tennessee warehouse. Phase 1 of its new £14m factory went live in December 2018 and it is likely to be completed this autumn.
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