Keywords anticipates revenue to grow to $287m in 2018

Unaudited financials claim strong growth following aggressive M&A strategy

Keywords anticipates revenue to grow to $287m in 2018

Services provider Keywords Studios expects revenues to top €250 million ($287m) for the 2018 financial year.

The Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Award-winning company has posted an unaudited trading update for the year ending December 31st 2018, where it said it anticipates sales to grow by nearly €100m from the €151.4m ($174m) it reported in 2017.

Adjusted profit before tax (and before acquisition and integration expenses, share option charges, amortisation of intangibles and foreign currency gains) is expected to come in at around €37.8m ($43.4m). That’s up from the €23m ($26.4m) reported the year prior.

Known for its aggressive M&A strategy, Keywords said it acquired eight companies in 2018. These included Sunny Side Up, The Trailer Farm, Sound Lab,  Yokozuna Data and Snowed In Studios.

It finished the year with net debt of €0.4m ($0.46m), compared to net cash of €11.1m ($12.76m) in 2017.

The company said its player support and engineering businesses had experienced particularly strong growth. Its localisation testing services had performance weaker than expected however, which was put down to releases moving from 2018 and into 2019.

Indeed, a number of big triple-A games move their release dates to avoid Red Dead Redemption 2.

Full year results for Keywords for the year are expected on April 8th 2019.

Keeping up with trends

"We are pleased with the Group’s continued organic growth, in a year in which our markets were impacted by the Fortnite phenomenon,” said Keywords CEO Andrew Day (pictured, main).

"This together with the Group’s successful acquisitive growth has seen us increase revenues and profit before tax by approximately 65 per cent in the year."

He added: “As we look forward to another year of extending the ways in which we work with our video game developer and publisher clients, we are pleased to report that we are engaged on a number of projects with clients who are investing in the field of cloud-based gaming.

“This is an exciting development in the games market as a whole, as 5G mobile networks and expanded internet bandwidths allow for the emergence of platforms aiming to become the ‘Netflix of gaming’.

“We expect this to create enhanced demand for both content, which would benefit most of our service lines, and for making games more accessible to more people in more territories, which would fuel demand for localisation in particular.”

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.