Monday 21 October 2019

Games Workshop shares capitulate as company battles tough trading

The Nottingham-based group warned of uncertainties.

Shares in Games Workshop were battered (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Shares in Games Workshop were battered (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Shares in Games Workshop tanked on Thursday after the fantasy miniatures maker warned over uncertain trading.

The Nottingham-based group, which has been on a stellar run of form, said that while its performance up to October 7 has “continued well”, there are “some uncertainties in the trading periods ahead for the rest of the 2018/19 financial year”.

In a brief stock market statement, the FTSE 250-listed wargaming manufacturer and retailer said its sales in the period from September to early October are ahead of the prior year with profit at similar levels.

Shares in Games Workshop dropped 9% in morning trading to 3,019p, making it the worst performer in the FTSE 250.

Games Workshop said it will give a further update “as appropriate”.

Only in June, staff at Games Workshop were handed a £5 million bonus following a year of solid sales and profits.

The results were helped by online sales and the continued popularity of tabletop game Warhammer.

Games Workshop makes 75% of its revenues overseas, so has benefited from the Brexit-induced collapse in the pound.

The firm’s shares have been on a roll since 2017 and, despite Thursday’s fall, they are still up more than 30% over the past 12 months.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “Shareholders can easily get carried away with stocks that are going through a purple patch with sales growth and Games Workshop certainly is among this pack. Sadly the retailer’s latest trading update is a reminder that no company is invincible.

“The market rarely likes brevity and it hates uncertainty, hence why the retailer’s shares have taken a hit on the news. It is better to spell out the issues rather than keep investors guessing.”

PA Media

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