Angry Birds maker Rovio needs new games to revitalize sales

Rovio grew rapidly after the 2009 launch of the original ‘Angry Birds’ game. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Angry Birds maker Rovio needs new games to revitalize sales

  • Rovio said tough competition and high marketing costs would put pressure on its full-year outlook
  • Rovio grew rapidly after the 2009 launch of the original ‘Angry Birds’ game

HELSINKI: Rovio Entertainment, the maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game, on Friday said the company needed to come up with new games to drive growth and warned that sales would fall this year after reporting higher third-quarter profits.
The Finnish company, which listed its shares on the stock market in Helsinki last year, reported third-quarter adjusted operating profit of €10.4 million ($11.8 million), up from €4 million a year ago.
But Rovio said tough competition and high marketing costs would put pressure on its full-year outlook. The group said it expected 2018 sales to be between €280 million and €290 million, compared with a previous range of €260 million and €300 million. Last year, the company had revenues of €297 million.
“It is clear that we need new games in order to accelerate growth,” Rovio’s Chief Executive Kati Levoranta said in a statement, adding that the company planned to launch at least two new games next year and had another ten projects in the pipeline.
Rovio grew rapidly after the 2009 launch of the original “Angry Birds” game, in which players used slingshots to attack pigs who stole birds’ eggs. The company expanded into film with an Angry Birds movie in 2016, but more recently has been hit by its high dependency on the Angry Birds brand and tough competition.
After its initial public offering in September 2017, Rovio’s shares dropped 50 percent in February after the company said its sales could fall this year after 55 percent growth in 2017.
Rovio expects a movie sequel to boost business next year and the company has also stepped up investments in its spin-off company Hatch, which is building a Netflix-style streaming service for mobile games.
Full-year core operating profit margin is seen at 10-11 percent, up from a previous view of 9-11 percent.


Petroleum Development Oman to help create job opportunities for 21,000 locals

Updated 9 sec ago
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Petroleum Development Oman to help create job opportunities for 21,000 locals

  • ‘We aim to create 21,000 job opportunities in 2019, and we are confident that we can achieve that number’

DUBAI: State-owned Petroleum Development Oman expects to create 21,000 job opportunities for Omanis this year through the oil exploration and production company’s training opportunities and other undertakings.

“We aim to create 21,000 job opportunities in 2019, and we are confident that we can achieve that number. These are real opportunities that lead to direct employment once the training is completed,” Raoul Restucci, the managing director of PDO, told the Times of Oman.

“A lot of the opportunities we are promoting today exist outside the oil and gas sector, whether it be in tourism, manufacture or logistics. While some of these jobs will be created by PDO, many of the Omanis will be employed by other organizations once they complete their PDO funded on-the-job training.”

The prospective jobs would be spread across multiple sectors – from oil and gas, manufacturing, tourism to logistics – as PDO works with the government in pushing the Omanization agenda.

PDO’s Restucci noted the company has already created more than 5,000 job opportunities so far this year. Meanwhile, the Omanization rate for PDO has reached 81 percent and the company’s target is to reach 90 percent by 2020.

“… the oil and gas sectors are highly Omanized, and where you have expatriates, is where you have a gap in skills, or more likely, experience,” Restucci said.