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Warhammer maker Games Workshop pays staff £2,500 bonus — but £450m knocked off market cap as shares tumble

Warhammer maker Games Workshop has agreed a right deal with Amazon studios (Games Workshop/PA)
Warhammer maker Games Workshop has agreed a right deal with Amazon studios (Games Workshop/PA)

Warhammer maker Games Workshop is to pay all its staff a £2,500 Christmas bonus as  half-year profits rose to nearly £100 million.

The payout, a combined £7.5 million, is up from £1,500 per employee last year. It comes as profit grew by 12.4% to £94 million, on sales of £235 million, also up on last year.

But investors, who have become used to upgrades, were not impressed. Jefferies analysts Andrew Wade and Grace Gilberg flagged “markedly slower” growth in the second quarter.

Peel Hunt analysts were less negative, saying that the numbers were “consistent with our full-year forecasts”.

The shares tumbled by as much as 13% to 9224p, knocking £450 million off the multi-billion-pound company's market cap. That’s 21% off their July peak, but still up more than 200% over the last five years and 20 times the price they were trading at in 2016.

The bonus is enough for a fan of Games Workshop’s flagship — and famously expensive —  Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game to build the two-foot tall Mars Pattern Warlord Titan and equip it with a pair of power claws and a set of laser blasters.

Sold in parts, the figurine costs £1,674.50 to assemble and paint. It’s the most pricey model listed on the Warhammer website, which describes the Titan as “among the most ancient and feared of the Imperium's war machines”.

“Forged on the Red Planet itself, it is worshipped and venerated as the Omnissiah's will incarnate and each god-engine is encased in layered armour and powerful void shielding, and armed with weapons that are capable of reducing entire armies to ash,” the Warhammer website reads.