Games Workshop showed the importance of its gaming community, its stores and third-party retailers to its business model after it reported a 14% rise in overall sales to record levels, but flat or falling online sales.
The Warhammer game retailer, ranked Top 350 in IRUK Top500 research, sells miniature figures and models for gamers to build and paint before playing its tabletop fantasy warfare games as part of a community of gamers that it has built up both in-store and online around the world. Currently it has more than 500 stores from the UK to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and beyond, while its online Warhammer Community website sees almost a million visits a week, and more than 250,000 people are signed up to its Warhammer TV website.
Today it reported record revenues of £125.2m in the six months to December 2 2018, up by 14.2% compared to the same time last year. Pre-tax profits of £40.8m were 7% ahead of the £38.1m reported at the same time last year. But the growth in sales and profits has come despite flat or falling online sales – which means Games Workshop stands out from the wider shopper trend that is seeing shoppers make more of their retail purchases online. Sales in its Citadel online shop were flat compared to last year, while its Forge World and Black Library stores saw sales fall 11% to £4.6m from £5.2m last time. The retailer said that it continued to invest in the online store shopping experience and functionality, but pointed out that customers can now buy products online through the independent retailers that it supplies – and its trade business grew by 26% over the half-year on last time as the number of outlets increased and more retailers sold its products online.
Kevin Rountree, chief executive of Games Workshop, said: “Our business and the Warhammer Hobby continue to be in great shape. We have remained true to our long-term strategy and once again delivered on our promise to produce and sell the best fantasy miniatures in the world, while engaging and inspiring our fans. We continue to strive to make the Warhammer hobby ever better. Exciting times.”