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THQ Announces Record Sales, Profits, New Saints Row

THQ has announced that fiscal 2007 brought the 12th straight year of record sales, up 27% to $1.03 billion, and profits up to $68 million, as well as a new 2008 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 installment of its top-selling franchise Saints Row. [UPD
THQ has announced that fiscal 2007 brought the 12th straight year of record sales, up 27% to $1.03 billion, and profits up to $68 million, as well as a new 2008 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 installment of its top-selling franchise Saints Row. THQ saw fourth quarter sales of $172.1 million, up from the prior year's $148.1 million, and profits of $6.5 million, up from 2006's losses of $8.6 million, on strong sales of Supreme Commander, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007, and its hit Disney/Pixar license Cars. The publisher notes a number of key upturns in its fiscal 2007, which saw increased market share in all of its major markets, and the establishment two new franchises in Saints Row and Company of Heroes. It also noted that eight of its titles shipped over a million copies, including Cars and WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007, and expanded its developer base to 16 studios, encompassing 1,500 people. For its coming fiscal year, the company said it expects sales in the range of $1.12 billion to $1.15 billion, $110 million of that in its first quarter. THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell pointed in a statement to a number of original properties coming in the year, including Frontlines: Fuel of War, Juiced: Hot Import Nights and Stuntman: Ignition, its licensed franchises, and growing number of interally developed titles as key to expanding its position in the industry. Said Farrell, “During a challenging hardware transition, THQ significantly outperformed the market in our major territories. Our success in fiscal 2007 was driven primarily by multi-million unit sellers Cars and WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 and the successful launch of Saints Row, a new internally developed and owned intellectual property with sales in excess of one million units.” [UPDATE: During the analyst call, THQ officials confirmed that the Saints Row conversion to the PlayStation 3 has been canceled, and those personnel rolled into the creation of the game's sequel. Asked to elaborate on the reasons, the executives explained that the decision was a matter of doing brands justice by putting them in the right time frames, and that Saints Row could be better served by a "simultaneous shipment into a larger install base next year" with Saints Row 2. Breaking down the company's hardware shipment number expectations, which the company tracks with an internal program, THQ said it expected the Xbox 360 to ship 5.5-6 million units through calendar 2007, the Wii 5-5.5 million, 3.5-4 million PS3s, 3-3.5 million PS2s, 9.5-10 million Nintendo DSs, and 3-3.5 PSPs. The PS3, the company said was "tracking very much to expectations," and officials added that they of course "would like to see accelerated take up" of the console. The company also said that while it's still early in the month, there hasn't yet been a perceptible ramp in Wii supplies, but affirmed that it is confident in Nintendo's ability to match the hardware numbers they've suggested. To that end, THQ said it was preparing 11 titles for the Wii in the following year, both in multiplatform releases like MX vs ATV, WWE Vs. Raw, Bratz and its Pixar licenses, and also with an original exclusive game for the console that will soon be announced. Finally, the company said that it expects big growth in its digital domain, with downloads and in-game advertising, which will be used in 4 upcoming titles such as Juiced and Stuntman, for a total of $5 million in fiscal 2008. It also expects to see significant growth in its mobile sector, where it will be bringing a number of its forthcoming titles like Stuntman and Ratatouille, helped by yesterday's announced acquisition of Universomo. Executives clarified, though, that the acquisition was "not a revenue play," but really intended as a development and porting solution, and a key to getting mobile expenses down and the time to market better aligned.]

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