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By | Tim Richardson 10th January 2006 11:20

Game sales boosted by Xmas turnaround

Hip hip....

Sales of Sony PSP consoles and software helped Game Group to an "outstanding" Christmas, the computer games retailer announced today.

Reporting sales for the six weeks to Christmas, Game disclosed that total sales were up 37.5 per cent compared to the same period last year, while like-for-like sales were up 27 per cent.

In part this was due to the firm securing a "much improved supply" of Sony PSP consoles particularly in the ten days leading up to Christmas. On the back of that Game also managed to flog a stack of PSP software and it goes without saying that it had no problems shifting supplies of the new Xbox 360 console.

"Together with our creative promotion of established formats...[this] led to significantly improved trading over the Christmas period," said Game in a statement.

Which is a turnaround from before Christmas when Game warned that reduced margins on existing consoles and software, combined with supply shortages of new ones, meant that December might not be quite so festive.

"The significant price deflation on hardware and software as the current generation of consoles reach maturity, coupled with the tough retail environment, have resulted in ongoing like for like sales declines for our business," said the retailer in November.

"Since our last update on 27 September, the retail trading environment has not improved and the anticipated pick-up in the like for like sales of mature format hardware and software has not materialised in recent weeks."

Speaking today, though, Game chairman Peter Lewis said: "This outstanding Christmas sales performance has helped an otherwise difficult year as the industry transitions to the next technology cycle."

Which suggests Lewis expects Sony PSP and Microsoft Xbox 360 packages to continue to fly out of stores ahead of the launch of Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Revolution in the second half of the year. ®

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