Game raises forecast again

Buoyed by strong Christmas game sales, the UK retailer bolsters its profit expectations once again.

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Game, the UK's biggest specialty gaming retailer, had a happy, happy holiday, according to the company's latest financials.

The total sales for the Game group, which include the recently acquired Gamestation, were up 76.3 percent over the same six-week period to January 12 last year. Excluding Gamestation stores, sales were up 31.9 percent.

It wasn't just the Christmas period that was more successful, either--over the 50 weeks ending January 12, 2008, the company's total sales were up 86.7 percent, with like-for-like sales up 41.7 percent.

Game chairman Peter Lewis put the strong results down to a changing customer demographic, with women and mature gamers now spending more on games alongside the more typical gaming market.

On the back of these results, the company raised its profit forecast for the financial year ending January 31 to not less than £73 million (about $143 million). As a comparison, profits for 2007 were £29.5 million (about $58 million).

Game also named its top-selling games of 2007 as FIFA 08, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, The Simpsons Game, and Assassin's Creed. It also confirmed that demand for both Nintendo's DS and Wii machines continued to exceed supply.

Game wasn't the only specialty gaming retailer benefiting from this year's lineup of titles. Last week, GameStop reported holiday sales up nearly 35 percent, and similarly bumped its earnings-per-share guidance from between $1.61 and $1.63 to $1.75 and $1.76.

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