UK's Game Digital says CFO to step down

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 4:14 AM

(Reuters) - Game Digital Plc posted a 16 percent fall in first-half adjusted core profit and said Chief Financial Officer Benedict Smith would step down later this year.

Shares of the company fell 7 percent in morning trade on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

Smith, who has spent just over two years at the video games retailer, is moving as CFO to a private equity-backed business, Game Digital said on Tuesday.

Smith will remain with Game Digital until July and the company has started the search for a new CFO.

Game Digital, which went public in 2014, said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, fell to 43 million pounds in the 26-weeks ended Jan. 24, from 51.3 million pounds a year earlier.

Sales fell marginally to 582.1 million pounds ($869.54 million).

Analysts at Liberum said, "2015 to date has been slower for the games market with few blockbuster releases and while this should pick up over Easter and beyond we are more cautious for the balance of the year."

The brokerage trimmed its full-year EBITDA forecast for the company to 48.3 million pounds from 51 million pounds, while maintaining a "hold" rating on the stock.

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The company had issued a profit warning in January, citing heavy competition over holiday periods and bundling of games with consoles.

Game Digital declared a maiden interim dividend of 7.35 pence per share and a special dividend of 14.7 pence.

The company's shares were down 4.7 percent at 247.75 pence at 4.08 a.m. ET.

($1 = 0.6694 pounds)

(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)