THQ breaks $1 billion

Publisher reports its best annual sales figures and net profits yet, lays out plans and projections for coming year.


THQ reported its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31 today, and the company posted record revenues that topped $1 billion. It was the 12th consecutive year that the publisher grew its annual revenues, and it put up similarly record-breaking profits of $64 million to boot.

THQ's highlights for the year included the release of Saints Row on the Xbox 360. The original intellectual property and open-world action game racked up more than 1 million units in sales. In all, the publisher saw eight titles ship more than 1 million copies for the year, led by Cars (nearly 8 million shipped) and WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW (4 million shipped).

On its own, the fourth quarter was similarly positive for the publisher. For the first three months of the calendar year, THQ raked in $172 million (up 16 percent year-over-year) in sales, and nearly $6.5 million in profit. In the fourth quarter of its previous fiscal year, the publisher lost more than $8.6 million. Anticipated new releases Supreme Commander and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl drove sales during the three months, and helped the company's PC lineup account for 30 percent of its quarterly revenue.

Licensed games still account for the majority of THQ's revenues, but president and CEO Brian Farrell said in an investor conference call that the company was making progress internally developing wholly owned IPs.

"We currently expect a third of net sales from owned properties in fiscal 2008, up from approximately 20 percent in fiscal 2007," Farrell said. "Our revenue from owned IP will be driven primarily by the launch of two new THQ products, Frontlines and Stuntman, and sequels to proven brands such as Juiced, MX vs. ATV, and Company of Heroes."

Farrell also laid out the company's strategy to reach customers with divergent tastes, saying THQ would focus on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC to reach "core gamers," while saving mass market brands for the Wii, PlayStation 2, and DS. However, some titles--like WWE and Pixar games--will appear on "all viable platforms." Farrell also mentioned that the company had 11 games planned for the Wii in its next fiscal year, including some original content exclusive to the system.

In other THQ news, the company today also confirmed the development of a Saints Row sequel for the Xbox 360 and PS3, the cancellation of an announced Saints Row port for the PS3, and the delay of Frontlines: Fuel of War to January 2008.

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