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Online continues to drive growth at Games Workshop over the summer

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Image: Screenshot of games-workshop.com
Image: Screenshot of games-workshop.com
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Online continues to drive growth at Games Workshop over the summer

Games Workshop this week showed how online has helped its business continue to grow over the summer. It said its online and trade channels both helped to drive a “healthy” rise in sales over the summer that beat board expectations.

 

Estimated sales came in at about £90m in the three months to August 30 – 15.4% up on the £78m reported at the same time last year. Operating profit for the quarter is expected to reach £45m, 60.7% up from £28m a year earlier, while royalty income is set to grow by 50% to £3m from £2m last time.

 

“This,” said Games Workshop in a pre-AGM trading statement, “has been driven by healthy growth in our online and trade channels. However, our retail [store] channel is still recovering from the Covid-19 closures earlier in 2020. The longer-term impact on the group as a result of the ongoing pandemic is still unknown.”

 

It said that while sales were currently ahead of the previous year, it was still early in the year.

 

Games Workshop, a Top350 retailer in RXUK Top500 research, will issue a 50p per share dividend as part of company policy to distribute “truly surplus cash”.


During the Covid-19 pandemic Games Workshop took the approach of fully closing the business - from its factory to its online business and its stores – for around six weeks before reopening gradually once its operations were Covid-secure, and once its shops were permitted to reopen from the middle of June. Nonetheless, in July it reported what it described as its best set of full-year results in its history, reflecting a strong lockdown appetite for its Warhammer game and related merchandise.

 

Commenting on the figures reported this week, Global Data retail analyst Alex Hardy, said: “While other retailers have used online to mitigate the damage of store closures, Games Workshop is one of the few that has been able to grow despite Covid-19 related restrictions. It has capitalised on the need in lockdown to indulge in hobbies, and fantasy gaming has proved an idea form of much needed escapism for many, with a strong online community helping to drive sales.

 

“Games Workshop’s cost-conscious strategy, which includes not spending money on prime offices or shopping locations or mass market advertising, has been critical to its profitability over the period.”

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