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The End Is Nigh for Gameplay

Troubled announces terrible results, further take-over talks and management resignations

Gameplay PLC is once again in trouble this week, announcing disastrous results for the six months to January 31st after putting off the bad news while abortive take-over talks took place over the last few months. Although revenues leapt to £44.5m from just under £6m in the same period the previous year, losses also rose by a worrying 440% to £56m. The company had cash reserves of just £11m back at the end of January, and hundreds of job cuts since then and the recent offloading of their UK boxed games division to a management buy-out for less than the price of a Pokemon booster pack hasn't been enough to turn things around. Gameplay has apparently now resigned itself to the fact that it doesn't have the necessary cash to reach profitability.

As a result the company is once again up for sale. "In the light of its cash constraints and market conditions, the Board is also in discussions with third parties which may or may not result in the disposal of all or part of the remaining technology businesses, or alternatively, the company itself". This latest bad news has led to further bail-outs from the management, with Executive Chairman Mark Strachan getting a sideways promotion to Non-Executive Chairman, while Chief Operating Officer Bill Pike will be resigning after the sale of the company's boxed games division is completed.

Meanwhile the company's share price dropped a further 40% this morning to a new all-time low of just 4p. Although it has recovered slightly since then, it is still a far sight from its lofty high of over £10 at one point during the boom.

Source - Bloomberg / FT MarketWatch

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