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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Xbox boosts Game Group profits
Xbox games console
Strong sales of the Xbox lifted Game Group's profits
Software retailer Game Group has credited the success of new Xbox and GameCube consoles for unusually strong profits this year.

The retailer, formerly called Electronics Boutique, said the new consoles and the continued success of PlayStation 2 had boosted a traditionally weak first half of the year.

Most sales are generally geared towards Christmas but Game Group's sales rose 50% in the six months to June.

The company said it is expecting further rises by the end of the year and a "record Christmas".

Playing games

Game Group said it was unusual for two major manufacturers to launch entirely new products at the same time.

But the launch of Microsoft's Xbox in March and Nintendo's GameCube in May had driven large increases in turnover.

In addition, Game Group said the consoles "pave the way for higher margin software sales to come".

The PlayStation 2 console continued to bring customers into stores, and is selling over twice as fast as its predecessor PlayStation One.

Name change

Game Group is continuing to re-brand its 300 UK shops from Electronics Boutique to GAME and says all UK stores will be converted in time for Christmas.

In the six months to 31 July, the retailer made profits of 3.1m compared to a loss of 1.9m in the same period last year.

It is anticipating more strong sales for the end of the year, with what it calls "an exceptional line up of new releases", including new Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Harry Potter titles.

The company said the price reduction of PlayStation 2 and Xbox by their manufacturers in August "is almost certain to increase still further demand".

See also:

10 Jan 02 | Entertainment
14 Nov 01 | Business
11 Mar 02 | Entertainment
04 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
01 Oct 02 | Technology
09 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
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