Rovio’s brand licensing revenue plummeted by more than 34 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, the company has revealed.
In its Q4 earnings report, the Angry Birds owner revealed total group revenue was also down, though by just 1.4 per cent, dropping to 71.6m euros from 72.7m during the same period in 2018.
Chief executive Kati Levoranta, said the group could not reach its guidance range due to underperformance in its licensing division.
During the period Rovio culled around half its brand licensing jobs and restructured the unit in an effort to “improve efficiency an profitability”, Kati said.
The unit was merged with marketing and placed under new leadership – a gambit the firm hopes will improve results as the Angry Birds Movie 2 hits on-demand streaming services and traditional broadcast TV later this year. The feature film underperformed at the box office, despite receiving warm critical and audience reception, and failed to shift enough merchandise at retail.
The newly structured team’s mission in 2020 will be to “focus on our top licensee, product categories, and territories,” she added, though a complete reversal does not look likely.
“[The] brand licensing segment is optimised for profit at a lower revenue,” Kati says, “which is expected to decline approximately 50% year-on-year in 2020.”
The licensing team will also gear up to support a new long-from Angry Birds series slated for release late next year.
Uplifts, though, came in Rovio’s gaming segment, with revenue up 2.3 per cent, and growth in its newest games, such as Angry Birds Dream Blast, showing healthy return. The firm has seven new games in the works, three of which soft launched in 2019 and are unrelated to the Angry Birds IP.
Full-year revenue was up 2.8 per cent on 2018.