Shares in fantasy miniatures creator Games Workshop (GAW) gained 4.4% on Monday to £103.1 after raising guidance for first half pre-tax profits for the second time in the last month.

In a trading update the company indicated that revenue for the six months to 29 November grew 25% year-on-year to around £185 million.

After raising guidance on 6 November for pre-tax profit to be at least £80 million, Games Workshop today raised that bar by 12.5% and said they would be ‘not less than’ £90 million, up 53.5% on the prior half of £58.6 million.

For the full year to 31 May 2021 consensus analyst expectations are for revenue to be 27% ahead at £342.25 million and pre-tax profit to reach £135.95 million or 52% higher.

OPERATING LEVERAGE

As we have pointed-out before the company benefits from strong operating leverage which means profits grow faster than revenues, as demonstrated in today’s update.

Jefferies commented, ‘the further profit upgrade today again demonstrates some of the core attractions of Games Workshop - growth, momentum and a very high profit drop-through’.

INCREASED DIVIDEND

In line with distributing ‘truly surplus cash’ the board has recommended an interim dividend up 20% to 60p per share to be paid on 25 January 2021 for shareholders on the register at 18 December 2020.

Over the last 25 years the Games Workshop has increased its annual dividend at a 14% compound annual growth rate.

With around two-thirds of revenue coming from the online channel Games Workshop continues to benefit from the Covid-19 inspired acceleration towards digital distribution.

Investors will be keeping a close eye on whether the company can continue to shine in the ‘more normal’ world that vaccines promise for next year and beyond.

READ MORE ABOUT GAMES WORKSHOP HERE

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Issue Date: 07 Dec 2020