GameStop Sales Flat Ahead of Next Generation Console Launches

Paul Lilly

Console gamers await the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox 720.

GameStop chief Paul Raines referred to 2012 as a "challenging year for console gaming" in a statement related to the new and used game retailer's financial report for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 2, 2013. Total global sales stayed flat at $3.56 billion compared to $3.58 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and consolidated comparable store sales decreased 4.6 percent. With new consoles on the horizon from Sony and Microsoft, GameStop expects sales to pick up by year's end.

"We focused on factors within our control. We expanded our market leadership position, maintained our financial strength and controlled our spending," Raines said in a statement . "Perhaps most importantly, we invested in our mobile and digital businesses to position the company for future success. These channels delivered as planned and significantly contributed to our highest ever gross margin and profitability."

GameStop noted 60.3 percent growth in digital receipts, along with $100 million in mobile sales offsetting weakness in the company's core business.

Looking ahead, Raines is confident GameStop will "return to growth with the launch of new game systems." The company also expects a strong finish to 2013 with the release Grand Theft Auto V. Until then, however, the company anticipates gamers will be tighter with their wallets as they wait for next generation hardware to emerge.

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