Games Workshop sees full-year profits spike 69 per cent as staff receive £5k bonuses

A big spike in profit over the last year, confirmed plans to expand in China, and a bonus of £5,000 to each member of staff compound another successful end of year for the UK-based tabletop gaming brand, Games Workshop.

In its trading update issued this week, the tabletop figures retailer confirmed that each of its around 2,600 staff will receive £5000 in shares under its profit-share scheme following a profits spike at the company of 69 per cent to hit £151 million.

The share bonuses, issued to staff in May this year, are in total worth £12 million, marking a £10 million increase on the £2 million awards given to staff in the previous year. Meanwhile, senior executives will share an extra £1.1 million bonus pot, marking a £300,00 increase on the year before.

Games Workshop has been at the forefront of a surge in demand for tabletop gaming and RPG gaming over the last few years. While it was forced to close its 523 stores during lockdowns due to the pandemic, its online engagement, online events, and online sales helped buoy the company through the tough trading period.

As a result of consumer demand for escapism during the pandemic’s various lockdowns, and the retained audience that had turned to the hobby sector for entertainment, Games Workshop has seen its full-year pre-tax profit rise 69 per cent to nearly £151 million, while revenue came in at £353 million.

With another successful year under its belt, the retail brand has begun eyeing international expansion, detailing its plans to roll out hundreds of products across China, following delays at the border.

Chief executive, Kevin Rountree said that while China and Japan are ‘not significant contributors’ to the company’s performance yet, the firm ‘remains focused on sharing our passion for Warhammer to more people in these countries as well as the rest of Asia.’

Scottish board game company lands Rangers FC, Chelsea FC and The Open licensing partnerships

The Scottish board gaming company, Taxi Game, has launched a raft of new titles under its Taxi! trivia board game range, with the addition of three new sports-themed editions for Rangers FC, Chelsea FC, and The Open, as well as two destination-themed games for Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

The launch follows the recent success of the company’s Edinburgh, Glasgow, Celtic, Scottish Rugby and London edition that have sold with ‘rocketing success’ over the course of the year, as lockdown measures across the UK have forced families to take up new hobbies while spending more time at home.

Taxi Game has also stated that the games have found an appeal among fans who are currently missing live sport.

Each Taxi! trivia board game tests players’ knowledge of a particular destination or sport and includes alternative general knowledge questions. The better a player’s knowledge, the more tips they collect and the more money they earn.

The trivia game, which now boasts 18 different editions, was invented five years ago by former taxi driver Derek Carroll, who came up with the idea while sitting on the taxi rank one winter’s evening waiting on his next fare. The game is based on the working life of a taxi driver with players travelling around the board, picking up passengers,  receiving a ‘tip’ based on their ability to answer trivia questions about that city, sports team or general knowledge.

There are also opportunities to ‘sound off’ like a cabbie, a moment in the game in which players are given a subject to talk about for 30 seconds with six key words that you have to identify, the more included, the more they can earn.

Gordon Drysdale, one of the company’s founding directors, said: “As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, many people have gone back to basics, spending more time with their family and friends, and playing board games together has been a popular and fun past-time.

“Games such as Taxi! also impart useful facts and general knowledge about a destination or sports team which stays with you long after the game is finished. We have seen a significant rise in game sales in the last six months, and it’s fantastic to be adding to our existing range of games with the launch of these new editions.”

The benefits of board games appear to go beyond simply entertainment and connecting as a group. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have recently suggested that playing board games can help to improve thinking skills in the elderly, with a range of cognitive health benefits well into old age.

The Taxi Game company is now at what it calls “an exciting point in its development”, with a long line of clubs and different sports in the UK and further afield, looking to partner up in 2021.

The directors are now looking for further investment to help them realise the opportunities in front of them and are in discussions with potential investors.