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Gree's raised $2.5B guidance is edging closer to Facebook

Japanese mobile social game developer and network operator Gree raised its sales and profit forecast significantly for the fiscal year (ending June 2012) after a record second quarter.
Japanese mobile social game developer and network operator Gree raised its sales and profit forecast significantly for the fiscal year (ending June 2012) after a record second quarter. Gree increased its profit guidance for the fiscal year by a third, and its revenue forecast by nearly a quarter, after generating more sales than it originally expected through free-to-play mobile games from its internal studios and partner developers. The company now expects to see around ¥160-170 billion ($2.1-$2.5 billion) in sales for the full year, a 21.4-23.1 percent increase from its previous guidance. It also raised its profit prediction by 28.6-33.3 percent to ¥44-50 billion ($577.4-$656.1 million). Its sales are approaching the numbers of Facebook, which saw $3.7 billion in total revenue (12 percent of that from FarmVille developer Zynga alone) in 2011. The California-based social network company generated $1 billion in profit last year. During Gree's second quarter (ending December 2011), the firm hit a historical high with its sales, reaching ¥41.5 billion ($545 million) -- up 26 percent over the previous quarter, and 190 percent over the same period last year. Thanks to that sales growth, profits also reached a record high, which Gree points out is in spite of global expansion costs, investments in data centers, and other activities. It brought in ¥22.5 billion ($294.7 million) in profit, up 36 percent quarter-over-quarter, and 225 percent year-over-year. Highlights from the company's second quarter include its self-titled mobile social games network reaching 190 million registered users, the integration of its Gree service with OpenFeint to create a single global platform (launching in the fourth quarter), and nine new offices opened around the world. Its mobile social games network currently offers more than 7,500 titles from over 20,000 partner developers and its internal studios. During the second quarter, Gree released seven in-house developed titles, and 700 new games and apps from its partners.

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