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Activision report almost $3 billion sales in fiscal 2008

08-May-2008 • Gaming

Activision today reported record revenues for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, marking an incredible 16 years of consecutive growth. Net revenues for the full year soared from $1.51 billion last year to $2.90 billion, while net income exploded, growing from $85.8 million to $344.9 million. Sales in Q4 totaled $602.5 million, nearly doubling last year's Q4 ($312.5 million). Fourth quarter profit also was way up, climbing from a net loss of $14.4 million to net income of $44.2 million - reports GameDaily.

The great fiscal year was driven by "strong worldwide consumer response" to blockbusters such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Spider-Man 3, Shrek The Third and new licensed properties like Transformers: The Game. In fact, during the year both the Guitar Hero and Call of Duty franchises surpassed a billion dollars in life to date sales. Guitar Hero as a franchise has surpassed 19 million in unit sales.

In the U.S. Activision was also able to grow its market share by 7.2 percent to a record 17.3 percent. The publisher said it was the #1 console and handheld software publisher in dollars, and had three top-10 best-selling titles in dollars overall according to The NPD Group. Furthermore, for the fiscal year, Activision said it set an industry record for U.S. sell-through in dollars by a single publisher (according to NPD).

"Fiscal 2008 was the best year in our history and Q4 was the largest and most profitable non-holiday quarter, even though we did not release any new titles," boasted Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO of Activision. "During the fiscal year, we were the #1 U.S. console and handheld publisher in dollars for the first time ever, according to The NPD Group, and we grew our worldwide share of the console, handheld and PC markets year over year. We achieved record financial performance significantly growing both net revenues and earnings per share. And, we delivered a record operating margin of 16.5% on a GAAP basis, and 18.4% on a non-GAAP basis, excluding the impact of equity-based compensation, and we increased stockholders' equity by 38%."

He continued, "In fiscal 2009, we expect to deliver another year of growth. We remain committed to strengthening our global leadership position by continuing to execute on our growth strategies and cost-optimization initiatives. We own or control some of the most successful brands in interactive entertainment, and we will continue to focus our resources on proven properties with broad global appeal. Our solid lineup, which includes new titles based on such blockbuster brands as Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and James Bond, should enable us to continue capitalizing on growth in interactive entertainment consumption worldwide."

Kotick also noted that Activision is on track with regards to the Vivendi Games $18.9 billion merger to form Activision Blizzard. "With respect to our pending combination with Vivendi Games, we are on track to complete our transaction, which will create the world's largest and most profitable independent video game company," he said. "We are pleased that Blizzard's business maintained its momentum, and combined with our continued business strength, we are well positioned to exceed the financial goals we have set for the combined company at the time of the deal announcement. The combination of Activision's solid portfolio and Vivendi Games proven properties should enable us to continue delivering exceptional returns to our stockholders."

Looking to the first quarter of fiscal 2009, Activision intends to release Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Xbox 360, PS3), Kung Fu Panda (Xbox 360, PS3, Windows, PS2, Wii and DS), Guitar Hero: On Tour (DS) and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii).

The company's guidance for fiscal year 2009 (not including Vivendi Games) calls for net revenues of $2.75 billion and earnings per share of $0.72.

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