in Mobile Gaming

#Rovio: Ready for an IPO

Reuters reports today that Rovio Entertainment, the creator of Angry Birds games, said its finances were good enough for a listing after revealing a strongly profitable 2011 in its first public disclosure of business results.

The company forecast a strong year ahead, and said it was now preparing for an offering by ensuring it meets corporate governance requirements. “This company is preparing itself and getting ready,” Anders Lindeberg, Rovio’s head of investor relations, told Reuters.

Rovio reported 2011 sales of 75.4 million euros and profit before taxes of 48 million. The company did not provide historic data, but has said 2010 revenues were around $10 million. It also reported a 64 percent profit margin for the year. Rovio, originally founded in 2003, has been valued at up to $9 billion just over two years since it launched its first hit, Angry Birds for Apple’s iPhone.

Since then the games – in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal the birds’ eggs – have been downloaded more than 800 million times and had 200 million monthly users are end-2011, just short of Zynga’s 240 million.

Rovio plans to launch several more titles in 2012, which include also a non-Angry Birds title, Chief Executive Mikael Hed said.

Rovio was upbeat about growth continuing based on growing cellphone sales and significant investments it has made in product development, branding, brand protection and corporate infrastructure. “2012 looks fantastic,” Hed told Reuters in an interview. “We have had some very strong download numbers over four months.” Its Angry Birds Space game was downloaded more than 50 million times in 35 days since its launch in March.

Rovio is also expanding its brand to toys and playgrounds, and is taking the birds to the big screen. The first full-motion animated movie featuring the characters is in works and the short animations are a YouTube hit. Consumer products, which includes merchandising and licensing, generated around 30 percent of revenues last year, with the share higher in the fourth quarter, Hed said.

Last year Rovio raised $42 million from venture capital firms including Accel Partners, which previously backed Facebook and Baidu, and Skype founder Niklas Zennstroem’s venture capital firm Atomico Ventures.

We would greatly welcome the IPO of Rovio both in order to be able to asses an investment in the company itself but also because it should further increase the attention for the mobile gaming space with our favourite pick G5 Entertainment but also Glu Mobile, at the forefront.

Nordic Investor

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