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Angry Birds 2 Q4 gross bookings up 77 per cent year-on-year as Rovio reports record quarter for games business

Finnish giant reveals it has 13 new games in development, anticipates big 2019 with new Angry Birds Movie sequel set to launch
Angry Birds 2 Q4 gross bookings up 77 per cent year-on-year as Rovio reports record quarter for games business
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Rovio's games business continues to deliver, with the company reporting record gross bookings for the quarter ending December 31st, 2018. 

In the Angry Birds firm's financial report for those three months, the mobile giant reports that its games business generated €66.7m in gross bookings, a one per cent increase year-over-year. Due to a rise in deferred revenues, however, overall revenue dripped 1.4 per cent for the quarter to €65.2m ($73.5m) 

Angry Birds 2 was the main reason for Rovio's games business' record gross bookings, bringing in over half of the €66.7m total.

That title alone was behind €35.2m ($39.7m) in gross bookings for Q4; a 77 per cent rise year-on-year and the fourth quarter in a row that this game has seen an increase. Data firm Sensor Tower reckons that Angry Birds 2's 2018 revenue was up 47 per cent year-on-year

CEO Kati Levoranta also said that the company's ability to monetise its games had improved, too, boasting of a "new high" for the average amount of money spent by users both daily and monthly. 

Revenue for the quarter overall dipped 1.7 per cent to €72.7m ($82m); for the 2018 calendar year, revenue saw a 5.4 per cent decline to €281.2m ($317.1m).

Rovio expects the sequel to the 2017 Angry Birds film - set to release in August 2019 - to boost both its licensing business, as well as drive users to its Angry Birds titles. The original movie made $238 million worldwide in its first two weeks.

Angry Birds Dream Blast was the latest Rovio release - on January 24th, 2019 - with Levoranta saying that this has had a "good initial performance" in-line with 2016's Angry Birds Match.

The CEO went on to say that Rovio aims to launch "at least two new games" this year, with a full 13 projects currently in the works. One of these is currently in soft launch. 

Red hot

“In the full year 2018, games grew one per cent year-on-year on the back of the existing game portfolio and 4 per cent in comparable currencies. We also invested a record amount in user acquisition during the year thanks to the strong performance of Angry Birds 2,” Levoranta said.

“Although there were no new game launches in 2018 and we increased user acquisition investments, Rovio achieved a healthy operating profit margin of 11.1 per cent. Rovio's cash flow continued to be strong and cash flow from operations was €42.6 million for the full year.”

One acquisition made by Rovio was for Finnish mobile strategy game developer PlayRaven in November 2018.