Cooking Mama heats up Majesco sales

Profits and sales up for the New Jersey-based company, and it's all down to Mama.

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Majesco reported its fiscal first-quarter (to January 31) results today, with net revenue up to $18.7 million compared to $14.5 million in the same period last year. The company had the success of the Cooking Mama franchise to thank, with the company citing "strong performance" from the titles, including the latest Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends for the DS.

Net income was also up, and in the black this time round at $2.7 million, compared to a net loss in the same period of 2007 of $900,000.

Console game sales comprised 22 percent of the quarter's total revenues, with the vast majority of those being for the Wii platform. Handheld platform sales made up 77 percent, virtually all of which was from the DS. The figures show the company is leaning even more heavily toward producing games for Nintendo platforms, as last year's breakdown showed 10 percent coming from consoles, and 63 percent from handhelds.

In the first fiscal quarter of 2008, 99 percent of the company's sales were domestic, and the remaining 1 percent were international. Last year, by comparison, saw 86 percent of revenue coming from domestic sales, and 14 percent from overseas. The company stated that the tiny percentage of overseas sales was due partly to the fact that several international releases have been put back to the second quarter.

Majesco also reported a higher gross profit margin of 40.2 percent, compared to last year's 31.1 percent. This is due to two factors, the company believes: the first, higher margins on Wii games, and the second being poor sales last year of Dance Dance Revolution games, which the company is no longer producing.

The company also laid down its slate for the coming year and beyond. Between February and April, Blokus Portable: Steambot Championship for the PlayStation Portable, and Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest, Pet Pals: Animal Doctor, Nanostray 2, and Toy Shop for the DS, and Wild Earth: African Safari for the Wii will be coming.

For the rest of the company's fiscal 2008--ending November 30--gamers can expect to see the following titles on store shelves: Cake Mania 2, Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society, and Babysitting Mania for the DS. For the Wii, Cooking Mama: World Kitchen, Blast Works: Build, Trade and Destroy, and Wonderworld Amusement Park.

After that, over the holiday period and the company's first quarter 2009, Our House on the Wii and DS will be coming, Cake Mania will reach the Wii, and Major Minor's Majestic Ranch will also be hitting the world, created by the PaRappa the Rapper team.

Majesco kept its 2008 outlook steady, reconfirming it is expecting full-year net revenue to be between $53 and $58 million. It also believes that international sales will rise again, and be between 10 and 20 percent of the total net revenue by the end of the financial period.

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