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  • Games Workshop Boosted by “Rings” Magic

    Posted on January 30th, 2004 Rob No comments

    Tue 27 Jan 2004 1:23pm (UK)
    Games Workshop Boosted by "Rings" Magic

    By Phil Waller, City Staff, PA News

    Fantasy games group Games Workshop today said the growing popularity of its wargames hobby had driven a 12% rise in half-year operating profits to £7.4 million.

    The Nottingham-based group, which makes the Warhammer battlegame and a tabletop version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, said turnover had increased £13.9 million to £72 million.

    The group attributed the success to good management of its 115 stores in the UK, where enthusiasts can buy the company's figurines.

    The firm is also growing its overseas markets such as the United States, where it opened 19 stores in the six months to November 30.

    Games Workshop had a particularly strong final quarter last year after an advertising campaign promoting a Lord of the Rings game in collectable magazines featured some of its models.

    Finance director Michael Sherwin said the extra business was welcome, but said Games Workshop was basing its future strategy on organic growth through its store network rather than advertising.

    'We would far rather be masters of our own destiny," he said.

    During the period, the group continued to develop its flagship Warhammer 40,000 brand with a new Eye of Terror campaign concept, which ran across all its markets in the summer. It plans to launch it's new Brettonian Army characters this month.

    Games Workshop, which holds a global licence for the tabletop version of Lord of the Rings, also said it's third game based on the trilogy was launched in November.

    The group does about 70% of its sales outside the UK and has direct sales operations in the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.

    The company also serves Italy and other parts of northern Europe from Nottingham.

    It retains control over every aspect of design, manufacture, distribution and retail of its models and rulebooks and sells its products through its own chain of 303 outlets and more than 3,500 independent toy and hobby shops worldwide.

    It has manufacturing operations in Nottingham and Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, as well as a plant in Baltimore in the US, and a growing mail order and online sales business.

    Games Workshop opened 25 new outlets overseas during the period, of which 19 were in the US.

    It has opened new sales offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore and Memphis and a new warehouse and distribution centre in Memphis.

    Chairman and chief executive Tom Kirby said: 'The directors firmly believe the prospects for the business are very good."

    The group said it was raising its dividend to shareholders by 5% to 4.725p from 4.5p last time.

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