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By | Kelly Fiveash 31st December 2007 12:28

Game throws out bullish forecast

Wii very happy, awaits CC decision

Game Group Plc has ratcheted up its profit expectations for the fiscal year ended 31 January 2008 buoyed by strong sales in the run up to Christmas.

The computer and video games retailer said in a statement today that it now expects to see pre-tax profit before one-off costs of at least £70m compared with £29.5m for 2007, smashing analysts’ forecasts.

The Basingstoke-based company said non-recurring costs of £8m were expected for the year. Game reckoned it had enjoyed brisk December sales of consoles and games, particularly of Nintendo’s Wii, with demand outstripping supply.

The firm bought smaller high street rival Gamestation from movie retail giant Blockbuster earlier this year. Shortly after, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it would be investigating the deal.

It referred Game to the Competition Commission (CC) after the OFT concluded that the merger would nullify competition in the sector.

The CC has given the acquisition provisional clearance, according to Game, but the full outcome of its inquiry will not be clear until late January.

The firm said it will report its Christmas trading on 15 January. Shares in Game are currently trading up more than six per cent on the London Stock Exchange. ®

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