Angry Birds sales catapult to $100m

Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment said sales jumped tenfold to $100m (€76.2m) last year as gamers flocked to download its titles, adding business was now strong enough for a stock market listing.

The Finnish startup making Angry Birds games — in which players fire birds at pigs from a slingshot — has been valued by analysts at up to $9bn, just short of that of struggling world No 2 phonemaker Nokia.

Rovio said on Monday its finances were good enough for a listing after revealing a highly profitable 2011 in its first public disclosure of business results and forecasting a bumper year ahead.

Rovio, founded in 2003, became a global phenomenon after it launched Angry Birds for Apple’s iPhone in 2009.

“Rovio has fended off all rivals so far,” said analyst Tero Kuittinen from Finnish mobile firm Alekstra. “Rovio is still the king of the mountain, despite stiff recent challenges by Omgpop and Disney’s Where’s My Water?”

Rovio plans to launch several more titles in 2012, which include a non-Angry Birds title, chief executive Mikael Hed told Reuters.

Rovio predicted further growth driven by growing mobile phone sales and significant investments in product development, branding, brand protection, and infrastructure. “2012 looks fantastic,” Hed said.

Rovio’s Angry Birds Space game was downloaded more than 50 million times in 35 days since its March launch.

At the shareholders meeting on Monday, listing plans were not on the agenda, but Rovio has earlier said it would likely be ready for an initial public offering next year, either in New York or Hong Kong.

— Reuters


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