Game Group plunges as bosses sell shares

Video game retailer Game Group saw shares in the UK tumble as much as 14% today after a sell-off by the company’s two most senior directors.

Video game retailer Game Group saw shares in the UK tumble as much as 14% today after a sell-off by the company’s two most senior directors.

Chief executive Lisa Morgan sold 1.38 million shares – worth £3.1m (€4.1m) - leaving her with just over 200,000 shares in the UK-based group.

Her deputy and finance director David Thomas also cashed in more than one million shares, valued at around £2.3m (€3m).

News of the sell-off jolted investor confidence and sent the stock plummeting, wiping more than £100m (€132m) off the stock market value of the business.

A month ago, Game reported an “outstanding” festive season – with like-for-like sales jumping by more than 30% in the six weeks to January 12 - but warned of “limited” like-for-like sales growth in 2008 amid tougher trading comparisons.

There are also concerns in the City over its prospects as competition increases from the likes of HMV, which has recently looked to gain a greater share of the games market after falling CD sales.

Despite Game’s growth caution, the group said underlying pre-tax profits for the year to January 31 would be at least £73m (€96.7m), higher than the group’s New Year’s Eve estimate of at least £70m (€92.7m).

The group has 415 Game branches and 235 Gamestation stores in Ireland and the UK, with a further 491 international outlets.

Last year Game posted pre-tax profits of £29.5m (€39m) in the year to January.

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