Updated February 15th, 2024 at 16:24 IST

Gaming major Embracer misses Q3 operating profit estimate

Embracer's adjusted operating profit for the quarter increased by 7% to 2.15 billion Swedish crowns ($204.40 million), it fell short of analyst expectations.

Reported by: Business Desk
Embracer Group | Image:Embracer.com
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Embracer Q3 results: Embracer, a Swedish games developer, indicated a potential shortfall in its debt reduction target while maintaining its full-year forecast, despite reporting slightly weaker-than-expected operating profit for the October to December period. The company's shares plummeted by over 16 per cent at 09:22 GMT, marking the worst day since May 2023, and have subsequently lost more than half of their value.

Although Embracer's adjusted operating profit for the quarter increased by 7 per cent to 2.15 billion Swedish crowns ($204.40 million), it fell short of analysts' forecasts of 2.21 billion crowns according to a company-provided consensus.

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Embracer cited a softer outlook for PC/Console in the 2023/2024 period, recent game performance, and pipeline shifts in the fourth quarter as factors contributing to potentially reaching the lower end of its forecasted adjusted operating profit range of 7.0 billion to 9.0 billion crowns.

Despite undergoing restructuring, Embracer acknowledged the possibility of missing its March net debt target of 8 billion crowns but affirmed its commitment to a 12-month leverage goal and maximizing shareholder value.

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While Jefferies characterised the third-quarter results as "soft," CEO Lars Wingefors highlighted the mobile games segment's strong performance, with record-high profitability and a 2 per cent year-over-year growth in profits, attributed in part to a strategic shift towards more recurring games.

Embracer, like the broader gaming sector, initially benefited from increased demand during COVID-19 lockdowns but has since faced challenges such as development delays and falling demand, with some new titles receiving poor reception. In response to setbacks, including a failed $2 billion partnership deal in May and the recent discontinuation of a new "Deus Ex" game, Embracer has pursued cost-saving measures and redirected resources towards original franchises.

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In contrast, French rival Ubisoft, reporting its Q3 results on February 8, expressed optimism as net bookings exceeded guidance, driven by new releases and back catalogue sales, indicating resilience within the gaming industry despite challenges.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published February 15th, 2024 at 16:24 IST