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A lack of major new titles and no hardware launches has hit the performance of UK computer games retailer Game.

Turnover for the six months ended July 31 slipped to £213m from £231m last year while pre-tax loss mushroomed from £800,000 to £5.9m.

However, today's interims came as no surprise since the company had already warned shareholders that "the first half of the year would be challenging due to the lack of major new titles and no hardware launches". Despite this, Game remains upbeat since trading leading up to Christmas accounts for a massive slice of the company's income.

Said chairman Peter Lewis: "As we prepare for the crucial Christmas trading period, we believe we have our best ever offering. The group has shown its ability to trade well in an increasingly competitive arena and there is a very strong software release schedule in the second half.

"We continue to expect a satisfactory trading outcome for the year as a whole."

Gam has accelerated its store-opening programme in the UK and Ireland and expects some 400 outlets to be trading in time for Christmas. ®

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