Record sales and profit at Games Workshop despite slower growth

Games Workshop hit another record level of profit and sales in the first half, despite a slowdown in growth.

The Warhammer maker said sales were up 14% in the six months to December 2 at £125.2 million, boosted by improved performance in retail and trade divisions.

Pre-tax profits were 7% higher at £40.8 million.

The growth rate was slower than the same time last year, when half-year sales grew by more than 50% and profits more than doubled.

Chief executive Kevin Rountree said trading in the Christmas period was in line with the first half.

“Our business and the Warhammer Hobby continue to be in great shape,” he said.

“We have remained true to our long-term strategy, and once again delivered on our promise to produce and sell the best fantasy miniatures in the world, while engaging and inspiring our fans. We continue to strive to make the Warhammer hobby ever better. Exciting times.”

The company said its gross margin and stock levels were “not currently where we’d like them to be” amid a series of investment projects including a new Nottingham factory and upgraded warehouse capacity.

The completion of these projects is expected to foster sales growth and increase efficiencies.

Growth was strong in the trade division, which gained around 300 new accounts with retailers. Sales climbed by 26.5% to £60.7 million.

Meanwhile the retail division bucked the high street gloom, seeing growth in all territories except Australia and New Zealand. Around the world, the group added 23 new stores and closed five.

Online sales were flat at £21.2 million. The company said it was continuing to improve the online store experience.