Angry Birds maker Rovio can thank merchandise for record profits

angrybirdsWhen Angry Birds maker Rovio published its financial results for 2012 on Wednesday, all the numbers were, to put it simply, big ones.

There were “millions” all over Rovio’s blog post listing its results, and quite a few “billions” too. And of course, “record” got a mention as well.

Essentially, things appear to be going well for the Finnish gaming company, due for the most part to the incredible success of its Angry Birds game – both on and off smartphones. Rovio said merchandise connected with its games increased threefold in the last year, accounting for an astonishing 45 percent of  revenue pulled in during 2012. That’s a whole lot of soft toys, lunchboxes, clothes, board games, and books flying off the shelves.

In 2012, the company’s total revenue increased by 101 percent on the previous year to €152.2 million ($195m). After-tax profits came in at €55.5 million ($71m), marking a year-on-year increase of 57 percent.

While Rovio has a number of mobile games on the market, it is of course the Angry Birds franchise for which it’s best known, and which helps rake in the most cash. The company launched three Angry Birds games in 2012 – Angry Birds Space, Bad Piggies, and Angry Birds Star Wars – helping the number of game downloads cross the billion milestone in May 2012. The total number of active monthly users for the games, the original of which launched in 2009, reached 263 million in December last year.

Besides the merchandise, Rovio makes it money from game purchases, in-app purchases, and in-app ads. Down the road, it’ll be hoping to rake in even more cash with the appearance of its Angry Birds characters on screens both big and small. Special Angry Birds-themed attractions, like the recently opened Angry Birds Space Encounter at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, also help to generate a few extra dollars for the business.

Commenting on the latest set of financial figures, company CEO Mikael Hed said in a release, “Rovio has grown from a phenomenon to a very successful global business. In 2010 we set out to build an entertainment company and after last year’s performance we are on a strong path to achieve our goal.”

In an industry where mobile games come and go as fast as a catapulted bird passing overhead, Rovio has certainly done well to build Angry Birds into the phenomenon that it is today, but one wonders for how much longer it can wring revenue from the franchise.

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