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Marvel Reports Improved Results On Activision Licensing Deal

Comic book and entertainment firm Marvel has announced its 2005 results, which were finished out with a fourth quarter where net sales increased 44% from the year-ago per...
Comic book and entertainment firm Marvel has announced its 2005 results, which were finished out with a fourth quarter where net sales increased 44% from the year-ago period to $81.7 million, primarily due to a $50 million video game license extension with Activision. The previously announced Activision deal, which extended the firm's current video game licensing agreements for the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises through 2017, has provided a one-time windfall for the company in terms of game licensing. However it also comes alongside a recently signed deal with Microsoft for a Marvel Universe MMO. Overall, Marvel had net sales of $390.5 million and an overall profit of $171.1 million for the year, an extremely impressive result for the firm, which now makes a minority of its money ($23.4 million in revenues in 2005 Q4) from its comic book and graphic novel sales, but is ramping up to release self-financed movies based on potentially lucrative Marvel properties as its main business model thrust. Marvel's Chairman, Morton Handel, commented: "We are pleased with the financial results for 2005 and the strong cash flows generated by our operations... We announced a slate of feature films to be produced by Marvel using non-recourse, third-party debt financing. We are actively working on scripts for Captain America, Ant-Man and Nick Fury and expect that one of these could be our first film in production next year with a release in 2008." He continued: "In global licensing, we completed a video game extension agreement with Activision for our Spider-Man and X-Men properties and announced a multi-player online persistent universe game with Microsoft, both leaders in their respective industry segments." Going forward, the only specifically named video game title on Marvel's slate for the 2006 financial year was Activision's X-Men 3, which is due to ship alongside the movie of the same name this summer. Multiple other Marvel-related titles, including Spider-Man 3 and the Marvel MMO, are not currently listed, and are believed to be relatively early in development.

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