Console sales boom keeps Game fit

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The Independent Online

Game Group said families hooked on playing console games during the credit crunch helped its pre-tax profits to soar 25-fold to £33.3m for the six months to 31 July. Despite the retail slowdown, the boom in sales of games for use on Nintendo's Wii console, right, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox has kept Game Group's sales powering ahead.

Game chairman Peter Lewis said: "We continue to be encouraged by the ongoing demand for third-generation hardware and software, which is in part being driven by the broadening demographic appeal."

In the UK and Ireland, Game's like-for-like sales grew 24.2 per cent in the six-month period but fell back to 4.6 per cent growth in the eight weeks to 20 September.

In the six months, international like-for-like sales grew 17.4 per cent. After a trial in six Borders stores, Game will launch a total of 33 concessions within the book retailer's UK stores.

Game Group operates 1,245 outlets in Europe and Australia.