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Electronics Boutique Sales Up, Net Off

4/16/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

West Chester, Pa. — Video game hardware and software and PC entertainment retailer Electronics Boutique recorded increased sales for the fiscal fourth quarter and year, but earnings were off for both periods.

Revenues for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3 climbed 5.9 percent to $334 million, compared with $315.5 million in the same three months last year. Net income for the three months dropped about 18 percent to $13.1 million, compared with $15.5 million in the year-ago period.

For the 12-month period, revenues increased about 5 percent to $770.8 million, up from $730.4 million in fiscal 2000. Net income for the same period dropped about 35 percent to $14.9 million, down from $22.8 million in the previous year.

Comp-store sales decreased 6.3 percent for the fourth quarter and 4.5 percent for the year. The company said this was due to decreases in sales of PlayStation and Nintendo 64 software, as well as Pokemon-related toys and trading cards and PC software. Partially offsetting these decreases was an increase in video game hardware from sales of Sega’s Dreamcast over a full year, and the October launch of Sony’s Playstation2.

“Our results for fiscal 2001 were impacted by Sony’s production delays of PlayStation2, resulting in a shortfall of available product and a corresponding slow ramp-up of related software sales,” said Joseph J. Firestone, president/CEO.

Electronics Boutique expects first-quarter sales to increase to about $185 million due to additional stores and a strong increase in comp-store sales. It currently operates 746 locations.

For fiscal 2002, sales are expected to increase about 30 percent to $1 billion, based on additional store openings, the timely introduction and market acceptance of next-generation video game systems and related software from Nintendo and Microsoft. The company expects about a 60 percent increase in year-over-year sales from the video game category.

Electronics Boutique also said it expects a significant improvement in profitability for fiscal 2002, with particular emphasis on the third and fourth quarters.