Major publisher Electronic Arts' preliminary results for the Xmas quarter have revealed record revenues of $1.281 billion, driven by stalwart franchise titles such as Need for Speed Carbon, FIFA 07, The Sims 2 Pets
and Madden NFL 07
, each of which sold over three million copies for the quarter.
The company also revealed that its EA Partners publishing unit has signed an agreement to publish Pandemic Studios' major next-gen title Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
for the 2007 holiday season.
Although profits were down 38% to $160 million, as compared with $259 million for the prior year, the results still beat analyst estimates, leading to an initial surge for EA shares in after-hours trading, up over 2 dollars to $52.80.
The highlights of the results include net revenues in North America up three percent to $637 million; Europe up one percent to $583 million; and Asia down 19 percent to $61 million. However, movements in foreign currency rates positively impacted net revenue by $33 million.
As for top games, Need for Speed Carbon
for multiple SKUs sold over eight million copies in the quarter and was a top-five title in North America and Europe. Madden NFL 07
was the most popular game of 2006 in North America, selling over eight million copies since launch.
Elsewhere, FIFA 07
was EA's top-selling European title with over six million copies sold globally since launch. In addition, titles from The Sims 2
franchise sold over 10 million copies in the quarter - with The Sims 2 Pets
selling over five million copies. CFO Warren Jenson also revealed that the company's digital revenue hit a record $115 million over the last twelve months, and EA's mobile revenue reached $100 million in the past nine months.
As for its next-gen efforts, EA launched four PlayStation 3 titles in the quarter, resulting in a 32 percent revenue share in North America. Overall, in calendar year 2006, EA was the number one publisher on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC and PSP in both North America and Europe, and was the number two publisher on the Nintendo DS in Europe.
"We are pleased with the performance of our products on next-generation consoles," said Larry Probst, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "In the year ahead, we plan to build on our leadership position on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and to significantly increase our support for the Nintendo platforms."