SECOND QUARTER, JULY–SEPTEMBER 2020 (COMPARED TO JULY–SEPTEMBER 2019)
> Net sales increased by 89% to SEK 2,383.2 million (1,259.7). Net sales of the Games business area increased by 83% to SEK 1,495.4 million (816.1). THQ Nordic SEK 566.9 million (329.6), Deep Silver SEK 506.8 million (441.7), Coffee Stain SEK 129.9 million (44.7), Saber Interactive SEK 259.1 million (-) and DECA Games SEK 32.7 million (-).
> Net sales of Partner Publishing/Film business area increased by 100% to SEK 887.8 million (443.6).
> EBITDA increased by 132% to SEK 969.0 million (418.1), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 41%.
> Operational EBIT increased by 171% to SEK 652.5 million (240.7) corresponding to an Operational EBIT margin of 27% (19%).
> Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 804.7 million (284.8). Investments in intangible assets amounted to SEK 484.1 million (391.9). Free Cash Flow amounted to SEK 311.5 million (–115.8).
> Adjusted earnings per share was SEK 1.80 (0.65).
> Organic growth in constant currency for the Games Business Area amounted to 61% in the quarter.
> Total game development projects increased 57% to 135 (86). Total headcount increased 49% to 4,445 (2,981) where total game developers increased 58% to 3,593 (2,272).
|Key performance indicators, Group||Jul–Sep 2020||Jul–Sep 2019||Apr–Sep 2020||Apr–Sep 2019||Apr 2019–Mar 2020|
|Net sales, SEK m||2,383.2||1,259.7||4,451.9||2,401.8||5,249.4|
|EBITDA, SEK m||969.0||418.1||1,934.1||807.6||1,821.3|
|Operational EBIT, SEK m||652.5||240.7||1,364.3||444.8||1,033.0|
|Cash flow from operating activities, SEK m||804.7||284.8||1,537.0||723.1||1,728.3|
|Free cash flow, SEK m||311.5||–115.8||515.5||–68.5||–0.1|
|Total investments in intangible assets, SEK m||484.1||391.9||981.6||770.0||1,653.4|
|Total game development projects||135||86||–||–||103|
|Total internal and external game developers||3,593||2,272||–||–||2,365|
|Sales growth, %||89||–1||85||14||3|
|EBITDA margin, %||41||33||43||34||35|
|Operational EBIT margin, %||27||19||31||19||20|
OPERATIONAL EBIT INCREASED 171%
TO SEK 653 MILLION
The Group had yet another stable quarter with growing sales and profitability exceeding management expectations, driven in particular by a record strong performance of our back catalogue.
Net sales increased by 89% to a record SEK 2,383.2 million (1,259.7) whereof the Games business area contributed SEK 1,495.4 million (816.1) driven by 61% organic growth. Operational EBIT increased 171% to SEK 652.5 million (240.7), driven by strong back catalogue sales, improved quality of new releases and the generally favourable trends for gaming. The profitability was also driven by the fact that we are getting more recurring revenues from games-as-a-service or live-operated titles, for example Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Deep Rock Galactic, World War Z and the DECA catalogue.
It is gratifying to see that our companies attract and retain a lot of great talent. The number of employees has grown 17% on an organic basis in the past year. We continue to strive for long term organic growth by reinvesting our underlying operating cashflow into scaling up existing studios, setting up new studios and making more great games. Despite our efforts to find further growth investments, it is encouraging to see that our free cashflow reached a record SEK 311 million (–116) in the period.
We continue to emphasize our strategy for game development – quality comes first. Games should be released when ready. This will likely be appreciated and rewarded by our fans and gamers by more sold units, over a longer period of time at higher average selling price. Staying true to this strategy, in the recent months we decided to allow more time for polishing, bug fixing and completion to a number of titles across the operative groups.
Looking ahead this financial year ending March 31, 2021, we now expect the total value of completed games released to be SEK 1,000–1,100 million including a notable title from THQ Nordic that we still expect to launch within the fourth quarter. The third quarter will have less releases than the fourth quarter. We expect the third quarter to have new releases with expected completion value in the range of SEK 150-175 million followed by fourth quarter in the range of SEK 300-350 million. Looking ahead to the next financial year ending March 31, 2022, management is confident that it will be another record year in terms of new games released, as we see a potential to double the value of completed games compared to the current financial year.
Despite the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to maintain operations in a good manner. The employees in our studios have been working from home where they have sustained the development and scheduled releases. It has been impressive to follow how our studios have been able to adapt to the current climate despite challenges to stay productive during the pandemic and to keep the pace at the level prior to the working from home situation. So far, we have no noticeable delays due to the coronavirus. Studios are somewhat affected by how their employees need extra support to maintain work-life balance under these new conditions and prevent ambient stress, a new challenge for management to address and consider.
We are happy to see that DECA Games, our most recent operative group, came off to a good start within the group. DECA Games will be a growth driver for the group within free-to-play going forward.
The outlook for the games market is positive. In 2020 according to Newzoo, the global market is projected to generate USD 159 billion which represents a 9% year-on-year growth. Embracer Group are a small fish in the big pond and currently represents 0.5-1% of the total market. The global market is expected to continue grow with a forecast exceeding USD 200 billion by the end of 2023. One strong factor for the continued growth is the next-generation consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S that are launching this month. Initially the demand will outstrip the supply, but long-term the next-generation consoles expected installed base will outperform the previous generation according to Ampere Analysis. Coupled with the on-going transition to digital distribution, which affects publisher’s gross margins, will have a positive effect on Embracer Group.
The Group continues to grow within new segments of the gaming market, like Vertigo Games specializing in VR and DECA Games with a catalogue of free-to-play and mobile titles. VR is expecting to grow from USD 3.3 billion in 2019 to 5.7 billion in 2023 according to Superdata, thanks to improved equipment that increases convenience and player experience. Mobile is the biggest segment at USD 77 billion in 2020 and showed no signs of slowing down with an estimated growth of 13% year-over-year. With over 2.7 billion players (Newzoo) the games market is becoming a global mass-market. New ways of playing and accessing games like streaming will help open up the market to a larger audience.
I am pleased to see that the operating groups are initiating an increased number of potential acquisitions. During the quarter we added eight new companies to the operative groups. The Embracer strategy to build a truly independent eco-system based on committed entrepreneurs and developers that share the same ambitious long-term mindset. I’m a firm believer in giving great people trust to make their own decisions. The M&A market is more active than ever and the past three months we have actively been engaging with more than 100 entrepreneurs who want to be part of the Embracer family, including a dozen sizable businesses that has the potential to create new operative groups under the parent company. We patiently and disciplined continue to execute our M&A strategy across the group.
To support this M&A ambitions, we completed a directed share issue of SEK 5,7 billion on October 8. The new share issue further strengthens our financial position. I was happy to see that all of our existing institutional investors participating along with a wide range of new long term investors, including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. It is important for me as a founder and major shareholder to have reputable and sizable long-term shareholders that share the same 20 years+ horizon of building something sustainable and substantial.
To conclude, I would like to send my thanks to all of our colleagues, customers, business partners, and shareholders contributing to our growing family’s prosperity and success. I would like to personally wish you all a safe and relaxing upcoming holiday period.
All the best from Värmland
November 18, 2020, Karlstad, Sweden
Co-founder & CEO
For more information, please contact:
Lars Wingefors, Co-founder and Group CEO, Embracer Group
Tel: +46 708 47 19 78
About Embracer Group
Embracer Group is the parent company of businesses developing and publishing PC, console and mobile games for the global games market. Embracer Group has an extensive catalogue of over 190 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency and World War Z, amongst many others.With its head office based in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its six operative groups: THQ Nordic GmbH, Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, Coffee Stain AB, Amplifier Game Invest, Saber Interactive and DECA Games. Embracer Group has 46 internal game development studios and is engaging more than 4,000 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; email@example.com +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 November 18, 2020Embracer Group Interim Report Q2 2020