Officials from British publisher Empire Interactive (FlatOut 2, Taito Legends
) have released new financial records which show that the company has slipped into a pre-tax loss of £2.5 million ($4.6m) over the last fifteen months.
For the period ended March 31st the company reported an income of £26.5 million ($49.0m), down from £29.4 million ($54.3m) a year previously. Total gross profit was put at £13.0 million ($24.0m), with operating expenses climbing to £15.4 million ($28.4m).
The disappointing results were blamed on the delay of the just released FlatOut 2
, as well as a “delay in entering distribution agreements pending clarification as to the future of the group”.
This later is a reference to widely reported rumours
of the publisher’s sale, with SCi/Eidos Interactive, Vivendi and RedOctane all previously linked to the company. Talks between these companies have now ended, although other discussions are apparently ongoing with other unspecified parties.
Empire officials have remained buoyant as to the company’s future, pointing to a £1.4 million ($2.6m) operation profit during the last nine months and the expected success of FlatOut 2
, as well as the forthcoming FlatOut: Total Carnage
for the Xbox 360 and a number of other unspecified titles for the Nintendo DS, PSP, PS2 and PC.