Games Workshop to pay back Covid-19 government subsidies

Games Workshop, the Nottingham-based fantasy games manufacturer, has said it won’t be claiming any further government cash and will pay back any received after a better than expected return to trading.

The firm has slowly reopened its manufacturing capabilities and physical stores across the world since 28 April with its warehouses now operational and factory working at a limited capacity.

Some 306 of the firm’s 532 stores are now open in 20 countries.

A statement from Games Workshop this morning (12 June) said: “Trading for the Group in the nine months to the end of February was in line with expectations. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of our operations globally, our performance has been impacted. However, our recovery since re-opening has been better than expected.

“As we have re-opened our sales channels as discussed above, we now estimate our sales to be circa £270 million and profit before tax for the year ended 31 May 2020 to be no less than £85 million. This includes royalties receivable from licensing which are estimated to be approximately £16 million. Our cash balance as at 31 May 2020 is estimated at circa £50 million and we have put in place a £25 million overdraft facility.

“From March onwards, given the closure of all of our operations worldwide, we claimed the applicable government subsidies to cover the period of uncertainty. However, in light of these results, we do not intend to make further claims and we aim to repay any amounts that have already been received, where possible.”

The company said it will report on audited results for the 2019/20 financial year “in due course”.