Nintendo's latest console launch helps Game Digital

Retailer Game Digital has been boosted by the launch of the new Nintendo Switch console after flagging sales in a tough first trading half.

Game has enjoyed strong demand for the Nintendo Switch console. Picture: Contributed
Game has enjoyed strong demand for the Nintendo Switch console. Picture: Contributed

The group’s UK revenues have climbed 7 per cent since the end of January amid surging demand for the Nintendo games console, which launched earlier this month.

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Game Digital disclosed that its pre-tax profits slumped 26 per cent to £16.5 million for the six months to 28 January.

The company said sales across both the UK and its better performing Spanish business were 20 per cent higher in the first seven weeks of its second half thanks to the Nintendo Switch launch.

But it warned: “Going forwards this positive momentum will be highly dependent on stock availability.”

The console launch has breathed new life into the market, which Game said had been “challenging”, with a weaker line-up of game launches in the first half impacting already tough trading.

Its first-half profits plunge follows an annual crash in earnings of more than 80 per cent for the year to last July.

Sales of games consoles continued to be hit hardest in the most recent six months, plunging by 34 per centacross the group’s 300-plus stores.

Game Digital said its turnaround plan helped cut costs by more than £5m in the first half and that it would be reviewing its store estate further, with over 200 shop leases due to come up for renegotiation.

It is also pushing into new areas, such as virtual reality e-sports and live gaming events to offset tougher retail sales.

The group has launched “gaming arenas” in seven stores, with plans for at least another 20 by the end of the year.