Friday, 18 January 2008

Nintendo Wii dominated Argos toys sales over Christmas

Argos yesterday reported a fall in sales of traditional toys over the Christmas period after Britain's love affair with the Nintendo Wii video game console. Argos yesterday said that gaming and technology products dominated its list of bestsellers over the festive period. It took more than £4 million-worth of telephone and internet orders for the Wii console on November 30 alone.

Mr Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group (owner of Argos) said: “We could have gone on selling everything Nintendo supplied. It wasn't a great Christmas for toys but games were up 40% year on year. Parents were happy to buy a Wii and put it in the front room for their kids.” The success of the Wii has already seen Game Group emerge as one of the winners on the high street over Christmas and the console also helped HMV to report record festive sales.

Argos limited the fall in overall like-for-like sales to 0.2% during the 18 weeks to January 5. Total sales were up 2.5% to £1.9billion and margins were flat. Mr Duddy said that group profits for the year to March should be up to £15 million higher than forecast in the City. He predicted £430 million to £435 million, a rise of about 15% on the previous year. Shares in the group close down 5p at 266p despite a rise in early trading. The shares are 35% below levels seen a year ago.

Argos said the internet accounted for 23% of sales over the festive period with a growing number of customers collecting their goods from the stores. (source: Timesonline) - Velocity Interactive Group - New Investment Company (article on Nintendo Wii’s Christmas predictions)

Qantas, the Australian airline, has said it will seek compensation from Boeing for its order of 65 of the fuel-efficient aircraft, after a second delay in the delivery of the planemaker's 787 Dreamliner jet. Qantas said that the further delays to the delivery announced earlier this week would hurt its growth plans.

Production problems mean Boeing will not start deliveries of the Dreamliner until early 2009, with Japan's All Nippon Airways due to be the first recipient. Qantas said it would not get the first batch of its planes before next May, although a delivery date was yet to be confirmed.

Other Boeing customers could also seek compensation for the delays - the second time the US firm has put back its planned production schedule because of manufacturing problems. The new delay, estimated at three-months, puts it 10 months behind schedule.

All Nippon Airways, which has 50 planes on order, said it would examine the effects the delays will have on its business before making a decision about whether to claim compensation. Other customers that could be affected include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and First Choice, as well as a number of Chinese airlines. (source: BBC News) - Even more delays for the Dreamliner, BP fined for a record amount (Article on Dreamliner delays) (Also see Wednesday 12th December 2007 entry for more on this.)

Businessman of the Month – It is time that I continue with businessman of the month after I have not done this regularly as promised over the last couple of weeks. This has been due to the fact that I have been on holiday and did not have the time to regularly update the business news or concentrate on Businessman/personality of the month. With the holiday period now over, it is time to concentrate on this again. The businessman/personality of the month for February (since January is almost over) will be Mr Johann Rupert, Non-executive Chairman of the highly successful Remgro Group Ltd).

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