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Game Group 'on track' to take 39% of its market by 2013

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Game Group, owner of the GAME PC and video game brand, says it is on track to achieve its ambition of achieving a 39% share of the online games retail market by 2013. The company is reshaping itself for a multichannel future, at a time when sales are falling in its traditional markets.

In its interim results, released today, it said its share of the market was currently at 19% but that it expected that to improve in the rest of the year. Its stated aim is to triple the 13% share of the market it had in 2010 to 39% by 2013. “We are on track to achieve this,” it said today, highlighting the August 2011 relaunch of its ecommerce site on a new web platform, which it said was a “significant improvement”.

Today Game said that its sales of digital products were growing fast, up by 40% in the year to date. Digital content can already be bought using loyalty points, cash and traded-in products in store and the company is now looking to make that possible online.

But the positive update on the multichannel strategy came as the company reported steep falls in sales and widening losses in the 26 weeks to July 31. Like-for-like sales fell by 9.9% compared to the same time last year. Turnover was down at £558.8m from £624.6m last time, while pre-tax losses widened to £51.5m from £21.5m last time.

Chief executive Ian Shepherd said: "2011 has been a very tough year for the video games industry. A combination of a cyclical low point in the industry itself and unprecedented macro-economic conditions have led to significant market revenue declines.

“GAME Group has increased market share in this difficult climate as we have focussed on delivering our strategy. Nonetheless, the impact of the wider market can be seen on our first half results.

“Like many other retailers, we believe that trading conditions will remain tough for the remainder of the year, and have set our plans accordingly. We are determined to again outperform a difficult market this Christmas, by using our unique specialist position to give customers the very best choice and value.

“For the future, we are investing for a different video games market, with new games consoles coming to market and customers exploring new ways of playing games, including digital; online; and cloud-based gaming.”

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