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Electronics Boutique Q4 Sales Up 6%

West Chester, Pa. – Electronics Boutique’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue was bolstered by a 33 percent increase in domestic video game software sales and hit $533.5 million, up 6 percent from the previous year.

Net income for the three months reached $30.4 million, compared with $17.7 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

“In calendar 2002, the installed base for the three video game consoles grew in the United states by 14.1 million units, to 24.1 million units, and we expect an even larger increase in hardware unit sales in calendar 2003,” said Jeffrey W. Griffiths, president/CEO. “As a result, the industry is entering what should be the two best software years for this generation’s cycle,” he said.

Even with revenue and profit gains in the fourth quarter, ended Feb. 1, Electronics Boutique – which is dedicated exclusively to sales of video game hardware, software and PC entertainment software and accessories – posted a 6.5 percent decline in comp-store sales. The retailer attributed this to the comparison of the previous year’s successful hardware launches and to the soft and shorter holiday selling season in the fiscal year just finished.

Pro forma revenue for the previous fiscal fourth quarter hit $489.1 million, where results exclude related expenses associated with the chain’s BB Kids and BC Sports Collectibles businesses, pre-tax charges of $2.3 million for an inventory write-down, $12.6 million in restructuring charges and $70 million of goodwill amortization. Pro forma net income for the previous fiscal fourth quarter was $26.9 million.

For the 12 months, revenue climbed 23.6 percent, hitting $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the previous year. Comp-store sales increased 8.3 percent. Net income for the 12 months reached $38.9 million, up from $17.7 million.

Pro forma revenue for the year-earlier 12-month period was $1 billion, while pro forma net income for the year just ended was $39.2 million, compared with a pro forma net of $29.6 million year over year.

“January was strong,” continued Griffiths, “with comparable store sales increasing by nearly 8 percent. Software sales had a positive impact on margins during the quarter and software will continue to grow as a percentage of our business.

In the current fiscal year, Electronics Boutique expects total revenue to increase in the range of 14 percent to 19 percent, with a comp-store sales increase in the range of 4 percent to 6 percent. The first quarter is expected to contribute a comp-store sales rise of between 5 percent to 7 percent.

In its past fiscal year, the retailer recorded a net of 208 opened stores, with its plan forecasting about 275 new stores in the United States and international markets for the current fiscal 12 months.