August 27, 2015 / 9:25 PM / in 2 years

GameStop says new game launches to drive strong second-half growth

(Reuters) - GameStop Corp (GME.N) said it expected robust revenue growth in the second half, helped by a strong slate of video game releases and growth in its mobile and consumer electronics businesses.

The GameStop store sign is seen at its shop in Westminster, Colorado January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The world’s largest retailer of video games and related products said on Thursday it expected its fourth quarter to be particularly strong as highly-awaited games such as “Star Wars: Battlefront” and “Fallout 4” are scheduled for launch.

However, the company does not expect to benefit much from new launches in the current quarter as most releases are scheduled for the later part of the quarter, Chief Operating Officer Tony Bartel said.

Activision Blizzard Inc’s (ATVI.O) “Destiny: The Taken King”, Microsoft Studios’ “Halo 5: Guardians” and Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate” are set to be released in the third quarter.

“Halo 5: Guardians” will initially be launched only on Microsoft’s Xbox One console, Bartel said. The company had benefited from the launch of “Destiny” on various consoles in the third quarter last year.

GameStop’s shares were down slightly at $46.15 in extended trading, after rising about 5 percent earlier.

The company reported higher-than-expected revenue and profit for the second quarter, helped by strong sales in its mobile and consumer electronics business and new releases such as “Batman: Arkham Knight” and “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”.

“Batman: Arkham Knight”, the last installment of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment’s “Batman Arkham” trilogy, was the top video game by units sold in June, the month it was launched, according to market research firm NPD Group.

GameStop’s net income rose to $25.3 million, or 24 cents per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 1 from $24.6 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 31 cents per share.

Revenue rose nearly 2 percent to $1.76 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 24 cents per share and revenue of $1.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

GameStop also raised its full-year profit forecast for the second time to $3.66-$3.86 per share from $3.63-$3.83 to reflect fewer outstanding shares.

Reporting by Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Kirti Pandey

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