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Electronics Boutique Sales Rise 23%

West Chester, Pa. — Laying claim to a “great” first quarter, video game hardware and software retailer Electronics Boutique recorded a 23 percent sales increase in its fiscal first three months, hitting $372.4 million, up from $303.5 million in the same period last year.

However, net income in the first quarter, ended May 1, dipped to $3 million, down from $3.2 million year-on-year, and comp-store sales edged downward 2.5 percent. This decrease compared with “exceptionally high” store sales in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year, which were generated by popular releases for GameCube and the Game Boy Advance SP handheld.

Despite the difficult comparison, Electronics Boutique said it achieved double-digit first quarter increases in its comps for both its U.S. strip center stores and its European stores, which highlighted the positive impact of these locations.

Revenue growth for the first three months was driven by a 28 percent increase in total video game software sales and a 19 percent rise in total hardware sales, compared with the same quarter the previous year.

In the second quarter, Electronics Boutique sees a continuation of negative comps, with these declining 3 percent to 5 percent, compared with the same three months in 2003.

For the full fiscal year, the retailer expects total sales to increase in the range of 17 percent to 21 percent.

During the first quarter, Electronics Boutique opened 104 new stores, and the chain plans to open an additional 300 new locations, bringing its total number of new stores to 400 for the current fiscal year. In addition, it said that as these new stores mature over the next several years, it expects to achieve increased sales and operating margin.