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Games Drive Best Buy December Revenue

14 Jan, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Best Buy Co. Inc. said sales of video games helped the entertainment software category post a leading 8.2% rise in comparable store December sales for the five-week period that ended Jan. 5.

Comp-store (open at least 12 months) packaged media sales at the No. 1 consumer electronics retailer increased 7.9% during the same period last year, which ended Dec. 30, 2006, according to financial figures released Jan. 11.

Subsequent revenue drivers included flat-panel high-definition televisions, notebook computers and global positioning (GPS) devices.

Best Buy's continued strong performance comes as rival Circuit City Stores Inc. and Trans World Entertainment Corp. reported December sales declines of 8.9% and 13%, respectively.

Minneapolis-based Best Buy said double-digit comp sales gains in games were due in part to greater availability of hardware and software, and offset declines in music CDs and DVDs.

U.S.-based revenue increased 8% to $6 billion due partially to the net addition of 96 new stores, which resulted in a 0.3% comp store gain.

Best Buy said a shift in the fiscal calendar resulted in the lucrative post-Thanksgiving sales period falling in November, not December, and would have resulted in a 2.1% comp store gain when calendar-adjusted.

Comp store sales increased 6.1% during the same period last year.Total revenue increased 11% to $7.3 billion when factoring in a 30% gain in foreign sales to $1.3 billion. Comp sales increased 1.5%, compared to 7% last year.

Foreign comp-store sales, which include Canada and China, increased 7.6%, compared to 12.9% last year, excluding changes in currency evaluations. The company added 31 net stores internationally.

Vice chairman and CEO Brad Anderson credited employees at Best Buy's 1,300 stores globally for the strong results.

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