Rovio’s disappointing Q3 will lead to licensing job cuts

As many as 20 jobs from the 32-strong global licensing team could be lost after The Angry Birds Movie 2 fails to land and licensing revenues miss targets

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 31.10.2019 | Entertainment

Rovio’s disappointing Q3 will lead to licensing job cuts thumbnail

Rovio will continue downsizing talks with staff and push ahead with a planned shuffle of its brand licensing unit after third-quarter results failed to meet expectations.

As many as 20 jobs could be cut from the company’s global licensing team, which currently employs 32 staff.

The Angry Birds company yesterday reported financials for the third quarter, posting a healthy 4.3 per cent year-on-year revenue growth to €217.5m.

But its licensing business did not meet expectations. Revenue for the unit reached €8.4 million in Q3, a 6.2 per cent improvement on the €7.9m it made in the same period of 2018, but the growth was not big enough to meet expectations given the boost it should have received from the release of The Angry Birds Movie 2.

Kati Levoranta, Rovio’s CEO, says the sequel to 2016's The Angry Birds Movie “opened in a very competitive landscape and, regardless of great critics’ reviews and high audience score, the theatrical box office traction has been much softer than what we had hoped for”.

The knock-on effect was weaker than expected performance in licensing activity tied to the movie, and a confirmation of the reduction in full-year licensing revenue the company announced during its half-year 2019 update.

Rovio announced plans to “seek efficiencies and improve the profitability of the brand licensing business” through a staff restructure earlier this month. It has entered into what is known as cooperation negotiations with its licensing team, a preliminary dialogue companies in Finland - where Rovio is headquartered - must undertake before downsizing a workforce or reducing full-time positions to part-time roles.

Games revenue from Angry Birds games and the newly launched mobile IP Sugar Blast grew 5.2 per cent year-on-year between July and September to €66.4m. Group adjusted operating profit was €5.4m, lower due to re-investment of €27.1m in user acquisition.

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