· Net sales increased by 135% to SEK 5,085.2 million (2,168.1).
· Net sales for business area Games increased by 175% to SEK 3,725.5 million (1,355.5). THQ Nordic SEK 352.3 million (379.8), Koch Media Publishing SEK 727.6 million (496.9), Coffee Stain SEK 175.0 million (99.2), Saber Interactive SEK 476.4 million (307.0), DECA Games SEK 661.2 million (72.7), Gearbox Entertainment SEK 455.4 million (-) and Easybrain SEK 877.7 million (-).
· Organic growth in constant currency for business area Games amounted to 16%. Pro forma growth in constant currency for business area Games amounted to 19%.
· Net sales for business area Partner Publishing/Film increased by 67% to SEK 1,359.7 million (812.6).
· EBITDA increased by 70% to SEK 1,489.9 million (878.7), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 29% (41%).
· Operational EBIT increased by 86% to SEK 1,119.2 million (603.1) corresponding to an Operational EBIT margin of 22% (28%).
· Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 1,050.7 million (840.4). Investments in intangible assets amounted to SEK 968.7 million (557.7). Free cash flow before change in working capital amounted to SEK 370.4 million (315.7).
· Adjusted earnings per share was SEK 0.76 (0.53). Adjusted earnings per share excluding financial exchange gains and losses and discount interest effects on provisions was SEK 0.87 (0.55).
· Total number of game development projects increased 44% to 216 (150).
· Total headcount increased by 66% to 9,524 (5,730) and the total number of game developers increased by 69% to 7,824 (4,636). Organic growth for internal headcount in the Group was 16%.
|Key performance indicators, Group||Oct–Dec||Oct-Dec||Apr-Dec||Apr-Dec||Apr 2020–|
|Net sales, SEK m||5,085.2||2,168.1||11,808.2||6,620.0||9,024.2|
|EBITDA, SEK m||1,489.9||878.7||4,662.3||2,812.9||3,985.3|
|Operational EBIT, SEK m||1,119.2||603.1||3,363.9||1,967.6||2,870.8|
|Cash flow from operating activities, SEK m||1,050.7||840.4||2,691.9||2,377.2||3,899.0|
|Free cash flow before changes in working capital, SEK m||370.4||315.7||853.6||1,016.0||1,552.0|
|Total investments in intangible assets, SEK m||968.7||557.7||2,713.9||1,536.2||2,135.1|
|Total game development projects||216||150||216||150||160|
|Total internal and external game developers||7,824||4,636||7,824||4,636||5,115|
|Sales growth, %||135||44||78||69||72|
|EBITDA margin, %||29||41||40||42||44|
|Operational EBIT margin, %||22||28||29||30||32|
In this report, all figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period of the previous year, unless otherwise stated.
EMBRACING AND EMPOWERING GREAT ENTREPRENEURS
We are pleased to announce another stable quarter, with net sales exceeding SEK 5 billion in a back catalog driven quarter with 70% recurring revenues. Business area Games reached 19% pro forma growth, driven by a solid performance by the mobile businesses growing 34% pro forma. Pro forma growth YTD was 18%. The operational EBIT increased 86% to SEK 1,119 million (603) and resulted in adjusted earnings per share increasing 58%. We now have the ambition to be ready for listing at the regulated Nasdaq Stockholm Main Market by the end of 2022, earlier than previously expected.
We conclude an eventful quarter for our company. I’m proud of the drive, resilience and enthusiasm our employees show, despite enduring another difficult time in the wake of the pandemic. The efforts paid off. The group’s operational progress is on track as we continue to execute our different operational strategies across the group. We reiterate the management forecast for operational EBIT for the financial year 2021/22 of SEK 4.3-4.7 billion, and update the forecast for the financial years 2022/23 to SEK 9.2-11.3 billion and 2023/24 to SEK 10.3-13.6 billion, to include the contributions from the acquisitions announced during the quarter.
Our IFRS-conversion and preparations for listing our shares on a regulated market is progressing ahead of schedule. We now have the ambition to be ready for listing at the regulated Nasdaq Stockholm Main Market by the end of 2022, earlier than previously expected, provided that certain milestones are reached as planned.
Healthy organic growth in the quarter
Embracer Group is executing on its ambitious growth plan across soon-to-be ten operative groups. Business area Games reports an encouraging 16% organic growth in the quarter, driven by the strong performance of Koch Media Publishing and Coffee Stain. Milestone, a cornerstone business within Koch Media Publishing, has steadily outperformed the business plan we put in place when the company under the leadership of entrepreneur Luisa Bixio joined our group in 2019. Milestone’s recent release Hot Wheels Unleashed is its most successful game yet and was a key revenue driver in the quarter. Coffee Stain saw continued strong interest in their evergreen titles Valheim, Deep Rock Galactic and Satisfactory.
On a pro forma basis, the business area Games reached 19% organic growth, driven by the strong performance of our mobile businesses Easybrain and DECA Games, which grew pro forma 34% with 292 million monthly and 34 million daily active users. CrazyLabs recently celebrated 5 billion accumulated installs since its inception.
Record investments in organic growth
The objective of our capital allocation is to drive profitable growth, and the model seems to be working. We believe that the highest potential for value creation is by maximizing long-term profitable organic growth. We have a record 216 ongoing development projects. More than 95% of our capitalized development spend is allocated to the development of upcoming premium games. Our pipeline now has more than 25 AAA development projects planned for release until March 2026 with the potential to drive significant organic growth.
Investing in game developer talents strengthens our capabilities to further grow our games portfolio. Our 18 publishers within the Group with over 700 employees works closely with our internal and external developers with production, marketing, sales, distribution, quality assurance and many other workstreams to ensure that our projects have best possible access to the global market upon release and beyond.
Transformative acquisitions adding diversification and strategic opportunities
We are excited about the acquisitions of Asmodee and Dark Horse. These are transformative deals that we have contemplated for years, with strong entrepreneurial leadership, and strategic fit. Asmodee is the global leader in development, publishing and distribution of tabletop games bringing both diversification and strategic opportunities to the Group. Dark Horse, with a strong and growing core business in North American comics publishing, adds attractive capabilities to execute on our transmedia strategy. This includes established relationships with large film & TV producers in Hollywood as well as a vast library of comics IP’s, some of which may potentially be developed into interactive experiences. The acquisitions have met a positive response from employees, business partners and the broader industry.
Upon closing of these transactions, Embracer Group will have one of the most diversified portfolio of IP’s across the games industry. The dependency on any single title or IP is expected to be less than five percent of group net sales, hopefully making our operational performance even more predictable.
Solid financial position to support further growth
After closing of pending transactions, we project that we will have more than SEK 8 billion in available cash and credit facilities to support further M&A. Several of the businesses acquired over the past year have a low capital intensity. With strong organic growth ahead, we anticipate gradually growing free cash flow. Our diversification is increasing and revenues become more predictable. Our belief is that a strong balance sheet is a tool for long-term value creation, as we always act from a position of strength.
The M&A market is busy with activities ranging from mega deals to smaller transactions. Our great business partners Microsoft, Sony and Take Two have all been making large moves lately with strategic logic, a testimony that gaming is a very attractive form of entertainment. At Embracer, we note a growing number of inbound calls to us from a variety of actors. However, we are more selective than ever. The companies we welcome to our family need to have a long-term mindset, bold ambitions, and feel at home. As evidence of this, I take great pride in noting that 106 of a total of 108 entrepreneurs joining us since the IPO back in 2016, are still part of the family. The Groups core strategy to embrace and empower entrepreneurs seems to work.
We expect to keep growing our eco system with more entrepreneurs and creators in the coming quarters and years. We also have conversations with companies that would be financially transformative and could be the foundation for additional operative groups, but the timing on such deals is always difficult to assess.
We leave another calendar year behind us. Again, I want to sincerely thank each and every one within our global Group, for all the efforts made to keep our business up and running, despite the pandemic we had to face throughout the year. Hopefully, we will soon again be able to see each other across markets. To conclude, I would like to send my thanks to all our shareholders, employees, customers, industry colleagues and business partners for contributing to the prosperity and success of Embracer Group.
February 17, 2022, Karlstad, Värmland, Sweden
Co-founder & Group CEO
Presentation of Q3 report
Date: February 17, 2022
Time: 09:00 CET
Link to webcast: here
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For any questions on this report, please contact:
Lars Wingefors, Co-founder & CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org , +46 708 47 19 78
Johan Ekström, Group CFO, email@example.com , +46 761 33 82 76
About Embracer Group
Embracer Group is the parent company of businesses developing and publishing PC, console and mobile games for the global games market. The Group has an extensive catalogue of over 250 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency, World War Z and Borderlands, amongst many others.
With its head office based in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its eight operative groups: THQ Nordic, Koch Media, Coffee Stain, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment and Easybrain. The Group has 88 internal game development studios and is engaging more than 9,500 employees and contracted employees in more than 40 countries.
Embracer Group’s shares are publicly listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Stockholm under the ticker EMBRAC B with FNCA Sweden AB as its Certified Adviser; firstname.lastname@example.org +46-8-528 00 399.
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This Interim Report is information that is mandatory for Embracer Group to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 06:00 CET on February 17, 2022.
Embracer Group is a parent company of businesses led by entrepreneurs in PC, console, mobile and board games and other related media. The Group has an extensive catalog of over 850 owned or controlled franchises.
With its head office based in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its twelve operative groups: THQ Nordic, Plaion, Coffee Stain, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive, DECA Games, Gearbox Entertainment, Easybrain, Asmodee, Dark Horse, Freemode and Crystal Dynamics - Eidos Montréal. The Group has 132 internal game development studios and is engaging more than 15,731 employees and contracted employees in more than 40 countries.