Majesco Sees $11.9m In Holiday Sales, Details New Internal Dev Studio

Majesco has announced its Q4 and fiscal 2007 results, showing holiday sales of $11.9 million and losses down slightly to $1.5 million led, as usual, by its Cooking Mama franchise, and has further detailed plans for its new internal casual game effo
Majesco has announced its Q4 and fiscal 2007 results, showing holiday sales of $11.9 million and losses down slightly to $1.5 million led, as usual, by its Cooking Mama franchise, and has further detailed plans for its new internal casual game effort, Majesco Studios. In the fourth quarter, Majesco sales reached $11.9 million, compared to $21.5 million the year prior, when it had first launched both Jaws Unleashed and the first release of Cooking Mama. 79 percent of these sales came from handheld releases, 72 percent on the DS alone, and 21 percent from consoles, eight percent on the Wii. Losses for the quarter were $1.5 million, down slightly from $1.9 million the year prior. For its full year, Majesco recorded $51 million in sales, down from $66.7 the year prior. Total fiscal 2007 losses were $4.8 million, down from $5.4 million the year prior. The company did record higher margins, though, of 33.9 percent, up from 29.7 percent the year before, which the company says is directly related to its shift away from bigger budget releases to its Wii and Cooking Mama-related output. For its forthcoming year, Majesco says it expects sales of $53-58 million. 59 percent of this is expected to come from its handheld lineup, nearly all on the DS, and 40 percent from Wii titles. The publisher says it expects to release some 25 titles during the year, with 15 DS games, and nine for the Wii. Majesco says the first quarter will see the release of Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends, the second title for the DS, DS brain trainer Left Brain Right Brain, and Taito's minigame collection Furu Furu Park for the Wii. Looking out further over the rest of the year, Majesco has thus far announced Pet Pals: Animal Doctor, Mega Brain Boost, Nanostray 2, Cake Mania 2 and Eco Creatures: Save the Forest for the DS, Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship for the PSP, and Wild Earth: African Safari, Blast Works: Build, Trade & Destroy, Wonderworld Amusement Park, and the Cooking Mama Wii sequel. Finally, the publisher has said that Q1 of 2009 will see the release of Wii exclusives Our House, Cake Mania, and the previously announced music game from Parappa creators Rodney Greenblat and NanaOn-Sha's Masaya Matsuura. Said CEO Jesse Sutton, "In 2007 we continued to execute on our strategy. We made substantial operating and financial progress, laying the groundwork for continued growth and improved profitability in the year ahead. We successfully implemented our mass-market casual game strategy, as we published 19 games in 2007 including 13 for the DS and our first two Wii games. We streamlined our operations and reduced expenses... and made substantial progress in moving toward profitability. With this improved efficiency and the additional capital from our recent equity financing, we are well- positioned for growth in 2008 and 2009." [UPDATE: On the quarterly earnings call, Sutton called out the Cooking Mama series as the "anchor of our portfolio," noting that the series has sold 1.4 million copies thus far across DS and Wii. He also further detailed plans for its recently announced LA-based development studio, Majesco Studios. Sutton called the studio an "attractive, low risk opportunity, with potential for significant value" in coming years. Sutton went on to say that the studio gave Majesco an opportunity to develop its own IP, and that it planned to transfer a large portion of its development efforts from 3rd parties to the studio. Initially, he said, the studio will be bringing one to three titles out in its first year, depending on the platform mix, and would keep internal efforts in line with its development cycle -- 6 to 9 months per DS title, and 12-14 for the Wii. Sutton said Majesco should see financial benefit from its initial titles in the first quarter of 2009, and, in the longer term, is expected to generate 10-15 percent of the publisher's total releases.]

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