Angry Birds turn £39m profit

Finish software outfit Rovio has been feathering its nest thanks to the runaway success of its Angry Birds app.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 04 Jun 2013
Pre-tax profit of £38.7m on revenues of £60.8m are pretty good numbers for any SME these days - those margins in particular will be attracting envious glances from firms which can only dream of a 60% mark up. It’s an especially strong showing for a firm whose main product didn’t exist a little over two years ago. Yet these are the impressive figures posted by Rovio, the Finnish software outfit behind the extraordinarily successful Angry Birds game franchise.

Angry Birds first appeared as an iPhone app back in December 2009, and it and its successor games were downloaded no fewer than 648m times over the following two years, according to Rovio. Now available across the full range of mobile and gaming platforms, at the end of 2011, there were 200m monthly active users for Angry Birds.

Rovio’s headcount has increased 10 fold to cope with demand, rising from 28 to 224 employees over the course of the year, and its latest release, Angry Birds in Space, launched in March and has racked up over 50m downloads already. Talk about growing pains.

The results cement Angry Birds’ position as the pre-eminent app. By comparison US social games publisher Zynga (Farmville and Cityville) has 240m MAU’s from many more games, while Outfit7 claims just over 100m MAUs for its range of Talking Friends apps.

There’s more to come - there’s already an Angry Birds theme park in Finland and a UK rollout is planned for later this year, the first Angry Birds movie in now in production and no less than 30% of Rovio’s total income now comes from spin off toymaking and licensing operations.

All of which frenetic activity has prompted some analysts to value Rovio at a hefty £5.5bn. Critics however point out that unlike many rivals it is heavily dependent on a single range of hit products. But going on these results there’s no sign that anyone is getting bored of killing green pigs with a bird catapult just yet…

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