Rovio’s Big Year: Angry Birds Helps Gaming Company Soar To $106M In Sales, 648M Downloads

Next Story

Apple’s Lion Security Hole Could Be A Wider Issue Than Just FileVault?

We all know what a wild success the Angry Birds franchise has been for Rovio, with the best-selling mobile games spawning cookbooks, toys and much more besides. Today the company revealed just what kind of an impact that has had on its bottom line for its really Big Year.

The company today issued a statement that noted that the company made $106.3 million (€75.4m) in revenue in 2011, with earnings before tax at $67.6 million (€48m) — with 30 percent of that coming from its merchandising and licensing activities. Monthly active users of the app are now at 200 million, with 648 million games downloaded in total.

I’m not totally sure — I’m still hunting — but it looks like this might be the first time ever that Rovio has put out annual results like this. It might be because it is looking for some more transparency in the lead up to an IPO. It’s something that has been informally discussed in the press before, with the Mighty Eagle, Peter Vesterbacka, in December telling Reuters that an IPO could come in 2013 on the Hong Kong exchange.

Today, Vesterbacka formally told me that there are “no further comments” on IPO plans.

The $106.2 million revenue figure/200M MAUs are nothing short of an enormous leap for Rovio. In 2010, it reported revenues of $7 million from the period from July to December. GiordanoContestabile from PopCap estimates that Rovio made $10 million in total in 2010. The company announced in March 2011 a Series A investment of $42 million from Accel Partners, Atomico Ventures and Felicis Ventures, and at that time it had “only” 40 million monthly active users.

Angry Birds first went live on iOS in December 2009.

Of $106.3 million in revenue, $32 million is coming from what Rovio calls Consumer Products, which includes both merchandising and licensing. Rovio says that it now has 200 licensing partners developing new products and services.

The company looks like it will be putting the gas on doing more of that in the future, even as it launches new games, perhaps beyond the Angry Birds brand:

“The strong growth in revenue clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Angry Birds brand.” Mikael Hed, Rovio CEO said in a statement. “The heavy investments made in 2011 to all business areas will be seen in future products. To ensure continuous success we need to be creative and stay focused on entertaining our millions of fans by continuously developing new and innovative products and services.”

The company also ramped up its headcount about tenfold: it now has 224 employees compared to just 28 at the start of 2011.

Release below

ROVIO ENTERTAINMENT REPORTS 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS

07.05.2012

Helsinki, Finland – Rovio Entertainment Ltd, the world’s leading provider of mobile entertainment and creator of the Angry Birds franchise, today had the pleasure of announcing the financial results for the full calendar year of 2011.

Total revenue amounted to €75.4 million ($106,3 million) driven by strong growth in game download activity and consumer product sales. Earnings before tax were €48,0 million ($67.6 million) or 64% of total revenue in 2011.

“The strong growth in revenue clearly demonstrates the popularity of the Angry Birds brand.” Mikael Hed, Rovio CEO said. “The heavy investments made in 2011 to all business areas will be seen in future products. To ensure continuous success we need to be creative and stay focused on entertaining our millions of fans by continuously developing new and innovative products and services.”

The Angry Birds franchise fuels Rovio’s performance

The financial outcome of 2011 is very positive for Rovio.  Rovio’s different business areas, Games, Advertising, and Consumer Products, are fully rolled out and generated both revenue and profit.

The Consumer Products business area, which includes both Merchandising and Licensing income, generated revenues that represent a about 30% of total revenue in 2011. The company was working together with more than 200 licensing partners on developing new products and services within the Angry Birds franchise.

Rovio’s game offerings in 2011 consisted of three games, all based on the Angry Birds characters: Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, and Angry Birds Rio. The games are available as both free and paid versions on all popular mobile and connected devices. The total number of game downloads reached 648 million by the end of year 2011 and the total number of active monthly users, across all platforms, reached 200 million.

The number of employees grew from 28 to 224 during the year 2011.

Market and business development expectations

Future sales will to a large extent depend on the launch schedules and success of new games and initiatives in 2012. As sales of new devices remain the main driver for mobile game downloads, Rovio expects business to continue to grow accordingly.

“We are very optimistic about 2012 due to significant investments in product development, cutting-edge branding, brand protection and corporate infrastructure,“ Mikael Hed said.

Notes:
- Currency exchange rates EUR/USD is based on 2011 median of 1,41.

- Rovio Entertainment Oy´s financial figures have been prepared in accordance with Finnish Accounting Standards (FAS).