THQ Nordic AB (publ) publishes Interim Report Q1, April-June 2019: OPERATIONAL EBIT INCREASED 193% to SEK 204 MILLION

FIRST QUARTER, APRIL–JUNE 2019
(Compared to April–June 2018)

> Net sales increased 36% to SEK 1,142.0 million (837.4).

> EBITDA improved 88% to SEK 389.5 million (206.9), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 34%.

> Operational EBIT rose 193% to SEK 204.0 million (69.7) corresponding to an Operational EBIT margin of 18%.

> Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK 441.3 million (164.5).

> Earnings per share was SEK 0.52 (0.42).

> Adjusted earnings per share was SEK 1.53 (0.58).

CEO COMMENTS: OPERATIONAL EBIT INCREASED 193% TO SEK 204 MILLION

We started our financial year 2019-2020 with another stable growth quarter. Net sales increased 36% to SEK 1,142 million, driven by strong back catalog sales. Operational EBIT grew 193% to SEK 204 million, raising the Operational EBIT margin to 18% from 8%. The improved margin was driven by digital sales – which collectively rose to an average TTM of 58% across our three Games business areas. We generated SEK 441 million in cash flow from operations during the quarter and had close to SEK 3.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter.

During the quarter we signed additional deals of significant value relating to our upcoming game titles on digital subscription, streaming and download services on various platforms. Revenue recognition will begin when the games are released.

Collectively our three Games business areas - Deep Silver, THQ Nordic and Coffee Stain – achieved net sales of SEK 641 million in the quarter, representing year-over-year growth of 33% and 56% of our total net sales in the quarter. Back catalog sales, across the three Games business areas, drove the quarter’s top line performance. All three operating groups contributed to the Group’s Operational EBIT in the quarter.

Deep Silver’s net sales grew 10% to SEK 373 million. The quarter’s performance was highlighted by the continued strength of Metro Exodus.

THQ Nordic’s net sales grew 27% to SEK 185 million. During the period Piranha Bytes, one of the leading RPG-developers and the creators of ELEX and Gothic, joined THQ Nordic GmbH. They are now working on an unannounced title.

Coffee Stain’s net sales were SEK 83 million. Their performance in the quarter was notably driven by a successful Epic Games Store promotion of Satisfactory.

Partner Publishing grew net sales 42% to SEK 501 million, driven by several notable releases. Looking toward the September quarter, there will be notably fewer releases compared to the same period last year. While the physical market has headwinds – we see an opportunity for us to drive market share growth in this segment as publishers increasingly outsource their physical game distribution. After the quarter ended, Koch Media signed two notable agreements with larger independent developers regarding Partner Publishing in Europe and Australia. I am happy to confirm that one of these agreements is with our friends at Techland regarding their upcoming title, Dying Light 2.

The Partner Publishing business area grew with the three acquisitions: Gaya Entertainment GmbH in June and Game Outlet Europe AB and KSM GmbH after the end of the quarter.

After the end of the quarter, we have strengthened the Executive Management Team further by the appointment of Johan Ekström as Group CFO. Erik Stenberg, Co-Founder of THQ Nordic AB and its CFO up until now, was promoted to deputy Group CEO.

LOOKING AHEAD

I am excited about the way that we are positioned in this dynamic industry. In particular we have a strong pipeline of games in development at Deep Silver, THQ Nordic and Coffee Stain.

Our investments into our upcoming pipeline of releases from Deep Silver, THQ Nordic and Coffee Stain grew to a record SEK 356 million in the quarter as compared to SEK 208 million last year. This will drive the organic growth of our Games business areas over the coming years. Looking ahead we expect to have at least two major AAA-releases during the next financial year ending March 31, 2021. In total we have 81 games under development whereof 47 were still unannounced by end of the quarter.

I’m happy to share some new updates from some of our biggest studios at Deep Silver;

> Volition is deep in development of a brand-new Saints Row game, the first full entry in this much loved series since Saints Row IV was released in 2013.

> We have entrusted Dambuster Studios with the Dead Island franchise, bringing the development of this key franchise to one of our internal studios. They are now leading the development of Dead Island 2.

> Fishlabs is working on a new IP, as well as a number of unannounced projects. We’re excited to see Fishlabs grow as a major talent within our internal studio system.

> Last year Deep Silver acquired the much-loved TimeSplitters IP. We’re delighted to announce that one of the series’ creators, Steve Ellis, has joined us to help plot the future course for this franchise.

THQ Nordic announced three new titles, SpongeBob – Battle for Bikini Bottom, Destroy all Humans! and Darksiders Genesis, at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). All three titles were well received. I’m happy that this will bring new content to the gaming community based on some of the most beloved properties from the THQ Inc portfolio.

Coffee Stain had a well-received announcement of the two upcoming PC titles, the turn-based classic adventure Songs of Conquest developed by Lavapotion in Gothenburg and the ghostly hide-and-seek multiplayer game Midnight Ghost Hunt developed by Vaulted Sky Games.

We continue to execute on our M&A strategy by carrying out extensive scouting, research and proactive engagement. The pipeline of suitable companies to join our family is growing – both within each operating group – as well as candidates to become a new operating group under the Parent Company.

We have a solid game release schedule and many marketing activities ahead – most notably Gamescom that will take place next week. Again, I would like to send my thanks to all of our customers, colleagues, and business partners for contributing to the prosperity and success of our family. We are now close to 2,500 people that daily make it all happen.

I’m looking forward to our most exciting years ever ahead of us. I hope to see you soon, all the best regards from all of us at the head office in Värmland.

AUGUST 14, 2019, KARLSTAD, SWEDEN

LARS WINGEFORS
FOUNDER & CEO

For additional information, please contact:
Lars Wingefors, Co-Founder and Group-CEO
Tel: +46 708 471 978
E-mail: lwingefors@thqnordic.com 

The full Interim Report is available via link below and on www.thqnordic-investors.com

About THQ Nordic
THQ Nordic develops and publishes PC and console games for the global games market. The company has an extensive catalog of over 100 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro (license), MX vs ATV, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Time Splitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest amongst many others. The Group has its head office in Karlstad, Sweden and a global presence through its three operative groups, Deep Silver/Koch Media, THQ Nordic GmbH and Coffee Stain. The Group has 18 internal game development studios and close to 2,500 employees and contracted developers in more than 40 countries. 

THQ Nordic's shares are publicly listed on Nasdaq First North Stockholm under the ticker THQN B with FNCA Sweden AB as its Certified Adviser; info@fnca.se +46-8-528 00 399.

For more information, please visit: http://www.thqnordic-investors.com 

This Interim Report is information that is mandatory for THQ Nordic 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 14 August 2019

THQ Nordic Q1 APRIL-JUNE 2019

Embracer Group is the parent company of businesses developing and publishing PC and console games for the global games market. The group has an extensive catalogue of over 130 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory and Wreckfest amongst many others.

With its head office in Karlstad, Sweden, Embracer Group has a global presence through its three operative groups: Koch Media GmbH/Deep Silver, THQ Nordic GmbH, and Coffee Stain AB. The group has eighteen internal game development studios engaging more than 2900 employees and contracted employers in more than 40 countries.