After several tough years, the Finnish company behind the Angry Birds gaming franchise is finally getting some news that it’s eager to brag about.
The company took the unusual step today of announcing revenue figures for the first half of 2016. And in the process, Rovio officially confirmed that it’s laying the groundwork for a possible sequel to its animated “Angry Birds” movie that was released earlier this year.
“We currently have several exciting new games and other projects in development, including new IP, and we have started planning the sequel to ‘The Angry Birds Movie’,” Rovi CEO Kati Levoranta said in a statement.
A spokesperson cautioned that the company is in the earliest stages of planning for that sequel. But clearly, the $347 million box office of the first movie, released in May, has given the company new momentum. The DVD and digital versions of the film began global sales in late July, which should add to the haul.
The positive results are welcome news for Rovio. As downloads and licensing for the Angry Birds mobile game stalled, Rovio had posted three consecutive years of revenue decreases and layoffs.
But after years of trying to turn things around, the company said it posted $86.2 million in revenue for the first six months of 2016, up $11.6 million from the same period one year ago. Those figures do not include any revenue from the movie, and it’s not clear when any of the film’s revenue will hit the company’s books, a spokesperson said.
Rovio is not a public company, and it usually only releases an annual report after the end of its fiscal year. The pace of first-half revenue would roughly put Rovio on a path to topping the $160 million in revenue it reported for 2015.
Of course, the success of the movie should boost Rovio’s licensing business in the short-term and give it some breathing room to continue developing new games, which it says it’s doing. In those first six months, the company said its game business saw 24 percent revenue growth from the same period in 2015.
“With the excellent performance of our games portfolio and the fantastic movie, the Angry Birds brand is flying high and we are seeing positive EBIT and cash flow development, while fulfilling our mission to create world-class entertainment,” Levoranta said in the statement.