Coronavirus: Games Workshop to refund government payout as sales soar

Warhammer is a popular board game created by Games Workshop. Photo: Getty

Model retailer Games Workshop is set to repay government support after seeing an unexpected surge in sales.

The company predicts its annual profits to the end of May 2020 will outstrip performance in 2019.

The business expects to make at least £85m ($107m) on pre-tax profits on £270m of sales compared to £256m sales and £81m pre-tax profit the previous year.

"In light of these results, we aim to repay any amounts that have already been received, where possible," a company spokesperson said.

The £2bn retailer said although the coronavirus pandemic had impacted sales when it closed shops in March, customers had been flocking back since stores starting reopening. The business has now reopened 306 of its 532 global shops.

Government subsidies were sought by Games Workshop at the beginning of lockdown but the company has not confirmed how many staff were furloughed or which support scheme it received funds under.

READ MORE: Coronvirus: Britons save big as spending falls amid lockdown

But according to a report in The Times the business said it did not intend to make further claims.

The company, which was set up by three friends in 1975 has its own role playing game Warhammer, plus the Dungeons & Dragons franchise for Europe.

It now has shops in 20 countries selling figurines and backdrops which collectors paint.

Games Workshop recently secured a Hollywood seal of approval when Superman actor Henry Cavill tweeted about his enthusiasm for painting Warhammer figurines during lockdown.