Rovio Entertainment Ltd., the creator of the irreverent and ridiculously popular Angry Birds franchise, doubled its revenues while enjoying higher profits in 2012. Oddly, this doesn’t seem to satisfy everyone given the amount of games released over the year. Rovio, as of December 2012, has seen their games downloaded 1.7 billion times and enjoys over 263 million regular users.
Rovio today reported that sales are up 101% over 2011 to 152.2 million euros ($195 million), with net profit also rising to 55.5 million euros ($71 million), with some 45% of Rovio’s revenue now coming from “consumer products”.
Additionally, Rovio has changed its tune regarding the protection of its intellectual property. In 2011, “Mighty Eagle” Peter Vesterbacka, had this to say about the Chinese market, “We’d much rather sell and officially license products there, but if no one copied us that would mean that nobody cares. Next year, our ambition is to be the most copied brand in China because that would mean we are the leading entertainment brand there.”
That was then this is now….
“Year 2012 was another record-breaking year for Rovio. We doubled our revenue with an EBIT margin of 50%, more than doubled our headcount, established new offices and a New Business Ventures unit,” said Rovio CFO Herkko Soininen in a statement. “Also, to protect our own, as well as our partners’ and our fans’ interests, we continue to invest heavily in brand protection globally.”
Clearly, Rovio has changed its tune. Merchandising now represents 45% of Rovio’s revenue stream. In the gaming business, which is still 55% of revenues, the company launched Angry Birds Space, Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars in the past year.
Last month, Rovio launched its own series of cartoons distributed through a variety of devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Rovio has signed a deal with media stalwart Comcast to create “Angry Birds Toons.”
Despite these great numbers and new arenas entered, many analysts aren’t sold on Rovio’s success. Tero Kuittinen, an analyst with Alekstra Inc., a mobile telecom market consultancy, has stated that last year he believed that had Rovio gone public he would have valued the company at $9 billion. Today, he believes that if Rovio were to set an IPO date that it wouldn’t pull in more than $2 billion. For this reason, he believes that the Finnish company will wait until 2014 before going public.