Games Workshop and The Hut Group enjoy lockdown boosts

Warhammer specialist Games Workshop and online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group have revealed they were big winners from the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The companies both issued upgrades to the stock market on Monday, explaining that the second national lockdown had brought a surge in extra business.

Games Workshop said the retailer now expected pre-tax profits to be no less than £90 million for the six months to the end of November, compared with £59 million in the same period a year ago.

This was ahead of an update at the start of the English lockdown, where predictions were for at least £80 million pre-tax profits.

Sales for the period are expected to hit around £185 million, up 25% from £148 million a year ago.

Bosses said at the time online and trade sales had been particularly strong as gamers stayed home to paint figurines and build their collections.

The company said on Monday: “We are delighted with the global team performance in the first half given the backdrop of major projects and some Government restrictions.”

As a result of the strong boost in profits, Games Workshop also said it would be paying a dividend of 60p-a-share in line with its policy of distributing “truly surplus cash”.

Meanwhile, The Hut Group said full-year sales would be higher than expected – the second upgrade since listing on the stock market in September.

Bosses said the boost came from Black Friday events and revenues are expected to hit between £1.57 billion and £1.6 billion – a jump of between 38% and 40% compared to the previous year – up from a spread of £1.48 billion and £1.57 billion predicted in October.

The online health, beauty and fashion retailer, said it “has seen new customer acquisition trends further accelerate into Q4 across all divisions, supported by very strong performances during Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Week”.

The number of new active customers in November hit more than 1.7 million, including nearly 900,000 new customers in Cyber Week alone.

The Hut Group, which trades on the stock market as THG, is not upgrading profits at this point and will update the market again in January, it added.

It also unveiled new partnerships with Microsoft, Warner Bros and the Pokemon Company.

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