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Electronics Boutique Q4 Revenue Jumps

West Chester, Pa. — Strong sales growth in new and pre-played video game software propelled fiscal fourth quarter revenue at Electronics Boutique Holdings to a 25.9 percent increase.

Total revenue in the three months for the video game hardware, software, and PC entertainment software and accessories specialty retailer hit $671.5 million, up from $533.5 million in the year-ago period. This growth in quarter-over-quarter revenue was driven by a 31 percent increase in software sales and a 22 percent rise in hardware sales. Comp-store sales increased 2 percent.

Electronics Boutique net income for the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, reached $39.4 million, including $2.9 million of management fee revenue, compared with $31.6 million in the same three months a year earlier.

In the 12 months, total revenue increased 21.6 percent, reaching $1.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion the previous year. This increase was fueled by a 33 percent rise in video game software sales and 17 percent growth in hardware sales, year over year. Comp-store sales for the 12 months were flat.

Net income for the 12 months rose to $45.7 million, including the $2.9 million management fee revenue, compared with $37.4 million the previous fiscal year. The cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle lowered net income for the year-ago 12 months to $32.7 million.

“Our software sales for the year were particularly strong … driven by steady growth in the installed hardware base,” said Jeffrey Griffiths, president/CEO. “We expect these growth trends to continue, fueled by an anticipated hardware price drop in fiscal 2005 [calendar 2004], as well as an exciting lineup of new software titles,” he said.

Electronics Boutique, which plans to open about 400 new locations in the current fiscal year, with a focus on adding new strip-center locations in North America, expects total sales for the current 12 months to increase in the range of 17 percent to 21 percent. Comp-store sales should climb between 2 percent and 4 percent in the period, said the retailer.

In the first quarter, ending May 1, comp-store sales are expected to range from a 2 percent decline up to flat.