Profits and revenues at Activision Blizzard slump

Revenues and profits at the main Irish arm of global games giant Activision Blizzard last year slumped as the firm downsized.

Activision Blizzard is the firm behind the blockbuster World of Warcraft and Call of Duty games and its Blizzard Entertainment Ireland arm last year saw profits decline by 18% from €3.45m to €2.83m.

This followed revenues at the Cork City-based firm decreasing by 39% from €38m to €23.2m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

At the start of 2012, the Cork-based firm employed 926. However, a review of Activision Blizzard’s global operations resulted in large job cuts at the Irish unit in 2012 and into 2013.

This resulted in the firm moving to reduce its cost base with its workforce reducing by over 110 last year from 675 to 563.

According to the directors’ report “operating costs for the year have reduced by €14.14m and is primarily attributable to lower employee costs following a restructuring programme in the prior year which streamlined headcount in line with business needs”.

It adds: “The directors are satisfied with the performance of the company for the financial year.

“The company continues to develop the portfolio of services provided to other group companies.”

In the month after release of the the 2013 Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision Blizzard recorded $1bn (€786m)in sales to retail stores across the world.

The next instalment, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, is due to be released next month.

The figures show that the Cork firm’s accumulated profits last year increased from €10.9m to €13.6m with the firm’s shareholder funds increasing from €13.4m to €16.12m

The company’s staff costs last year more than halved from €32.8m to €17.3m, including salary costs reducing by 50% from some €30m to €14.9m.

The figures show that the firm has received €2.5m in grants from the IDA that “may become repayable in certain circumstances as set out in the grant agreements with the IDA”.

The directors’ report adds: “In the opinion of the directors, such circumstances are unlikely to occur.”


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