Alex Pelletier-Normand, CEO:
In the first quarter of 2023, Angry Birds Dream Blast continued its strong growth and reached a new revenue record, growing by 67.7% compared to the same period last year and by 15.3% compared to the previous quarter. Looking at our performance as a whole, our comparable gross bookings grew by 0.9% sequentially, overall in line with the US mobile gaming market, slowly recovering from the weaker than normal holiday season in December. During the same period, we were pleased to see our new games taking leaps forward.
Our comparable revenue decreased by 13.2% against the same period in the previous year, largely due to the launch of Angry Birds Journey in early 2022 affecting the comparison figures. Our adjusted operating profit declined in line with the lower revenue.
Regarding our new game titles, we have made great progress with Moomin: Puzzle & Design and Bad Piggies 2, among others. The Moomin game showed promising results in the mid-term retention test in the Japanese market in Q1, remaining on track for global launch. Bad Piggies 2, a physics-based puzzle game developed by our Stockholm studio, is starting its soft launch. This too is a great achievement for us. The game is totally novel and highly anticipated by the fans.
The Angry Birds brand continues to grow in reach and fandom. We reached a new milestone with the Angry Birds YouTube channel hitting 6 million subscribers. The implementation of our loyalty program and online hub ‘Red’s club’ progresses as planned and is expected to roll out during the summer.
Last week, Sega announced a cash tender offer to acquire all shares and options of Rovio. Rovio’s Board of Directors has agreed to recommend the offer, and 49.1% of shareholders have irrevocably undertaken to accept it, subject to certain customary conditions. The offer provides concrete evidence that our mission to craft joy with player-focused gaming experiences that last for decades forms an attractive strategy for the future. We are thrilled at the idea of using our expertise and tools to bring even more joy to our players, enhancing and expanding Rovio’s and Sega’s vibrant IPs. Red the Angry Bird and Sonic the Hedgehog are two globally recognized and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC, console, and beyond. This planned transaction supports the cross-platform expansion of our IP using Sega’s capabilities, while enabling Sega to utilize our distinctive know-how in live operations and our growth platform Beacon to bring their titles to the global mobile gaming market.
For the time being, we continue our daily work as usual, operating and improving our live games while crafting ambitious and innovative new games for our players. Looking further ahead, we remain strongly confident in our stand-alone strategy; however, combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future.
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