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Game Digital's first half profits fall as it expands e-sports offering and closes stores

Game Digital said its Belong gaming arenas will lead to a more successful performance in fiscal year 2019 and beyond

Game Digital
Game Digital's revenues were lifted by retail sales growth in Spain and in e-sports

Game Digital PLC (LON:GMD) posted a 25.5% decrease in first half pre-tax profit as the company expanded its e-sports offering and closed down stores.

Pre-tax profit fell to £12.3mln in the six months to January 27 from £16.5mln the same period a year ago.

Revenue increased 3.9% to £517.4mln from £498.1mln as a decline in UK retail sales was mitigated by growth in Spain and in the events, e-sports and digital division.

The company has been expanding its e-sports offering with its Belong in-store gaming arenas, which allow consumers to pay to play games on PCs and the latest consoles.

Game Digital has entered into a deal with Sports Direct to roll-out Belong gaming across a number of stores. Sports Direct has agreed to pay £3.2mln in cash for 50% of Belong's intellectual property and 50% of profits from new and existing locations.

READ: Game Digital to put retail outlets, gaming areas into Sports Direct stores

Game Digital said Belong will lead to a more successful performance in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.

The company has also been repositioning the business in response to a growing shift away from buying video games in store to making purchases online.  It closed 12 stores in the UK and three in Spain during the first half. 

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