Friday, January 8, 2016

GW Financials: Half-Year 2015

by SandWyrm

Still Treading Water
Well it's that time of year again. GW's half-year financials are out, and as usual it's a somewhat boring decline.

I don't care enough about GW at this point to go into any sort of extensive analysis, but here's the gist of it:

  • Profits would be up slightly, except that exchange rates pushed them into the red. 
  • But even at constant-currency, inflation means that they're still losing money.
  • The retail arm is a net money loser now. Independent sales have surpassed it.
  • Retail sales in North America are down a bit, but independent sales saw a decent gain.
  • Australian sales fell by 18%
  • Mail Order is up £547K, but they're still far from paying back the £6M the redesign cost.
  • Royalties are sharply up.
  • They're still paying more in dividends (which were reduced) than they're earning per share.
  • Cash-on-hand is falling, but slow enough that they could go on for another 3-5 years at the present bleed rate without having to borrow.
  • But they want everyone to know that they have enough financial strength to survive the year (um... ok).
  • They're starting a 'trial' of 4 multi-man stores in some European cities (about damn time).
  • Roundtree has added a "recruitment expert" to his management team to help find and keep store managers. Their turnover rate has been said to be 30%(!), and the company-wide salary freeze can't be helping.
  • Word via the Guardian (thank you BoLS) is that they're re-branding their stores to simply "Warhammer" instead of "Games Workshop".
  • Also via the Guardian: Their sales were way down at Christmas. Presumably because everyone was buying Star Wars stuff instead (Awe).
So you know, same old same old. GW hasn't blown up, but is still slowly bleeding out. Instead of focusing on product quality and diversification, they're obsessed with image and re-branding themselves.

C'est la stupide.

Pancakes and Halibut


  1. I've reached acceptance stage of grief for 40K. Maybe one day they'll release a product that's compelling to me. Right now, they have none.

  2. I'm not sure it's completely the same old. This new CEO seems to trying to slowly turn the ship. He lady report talked about building alliances with retailers and something seems to be improving there. He's identified the high turnover of managers which whilst obvious might actually be addressed.
    Unlike Kirby who seemed oblivious there are signs here of an attempt to make this business work. I'm hoping his next report talks about customer feedback and then the company may turn around.

    As you've pointed out its a slow decline they don't need to move in haste yet.

    Or it could be window dressing and the decline continue.

    1. Roundtree has certainly shown some signs of being a smarter executive than Kirby (not that that's hard), but he's still a finance/marketing guy, and that's not what GW needs to revitalize itself. At best Roundtree will expertly slow the decline, but without a company-wide focus on total product quality (i.e. rules and not just models), nothing all that meaningful is going to happen.

      GW's core problem is not their pay rates, or the one-man store idiocy. Their core problem is that nobody wants to play their lazily produced and overpriced games/models. Everything else is just the symptoms of failing to increase their products' appeal to new and veteran players alike.

    2. In the meantime, my 40k group just doubled attendance, and we're waiting on the latest order to arrive, including a Storm Surge, two DA sets, and a box of Centurions. We're buying, enjoying it, and recruiting new bodies.

    3. Sorry, previous post was overly harsh. I just get a little tired of seeing single anecdotes override everything else.

    4. How many regular players are in your group Nomeny?

    5. There was 7 last season, and 7 more joined this season.

  3. @ nomeny
    glad you guys are recruiting well. If you've got good interest, I'm totally up for divesting my GW inventory.
    I'll gladly sell everything for half current GW prices. (which would recoup pretty much most of my initial investments)
    I've got a bunch of Sisters of Battle, Imp Guard, and Grey Knights. I even have some Space Marines. Everything someone would need to get started playing GW at half the cost.

    1. @Farmpunk: That's a very kind offer, but as a group we're more into buying new. Part of the hobby is, well, the hobby of putting together your own miniatures and painting them and owning them. Second hand isn't really our bag.

  4. Our gaming group is stable. Most new major purchases are typically as Forgeworld right now, since we are a largely stable, mature market. The interesting thing for me is that some things I want, my FLGS cannot seem to get from GW. Not to mention the fact that GW is opening a new 1-man store in Maine...possibly in part to compete in this local market? Crazy....


out dang bot!

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