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Angry Birds-maker Rovio sees growth in sales in 2019 after a weak fourth quarter

A Rovio-symbol and a picture of an Angry Birds character to be seen in front of Rovio’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland, March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Jussi Rosendahl

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Rovio Entertainment, the maker of Angry Birds mobile game franchise, said it expects revenue to grow this year, supported by new game launches and a film release, after its fourth quarter operating profit was halved.

Rovio, which was listed in Helsinki in September 2017, hit by its heavy dependence on the Angry Birds brand, launched in 2009, and the tough competition.

The Finnish company reported fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit of € 5.3 million ($6 million), halve a year ago. Sale baptized at 1.7 percent compared to a year ago to 72.7 million euros.

However, Rovio weather forecast for 2019 revenue increase to 300-330 million euros 281.2 million last year, with adjusted operating profit margin to fall to 9-11 percent level of 11.1 percent last year.

Rovio expanded in the film with a Angry Birds film in 2016, which earned about $350 million at the box office of the film, and the sequel is due in August.

“We … expect that the film and surrounding marketing for the enlargement of our license business as well as users to our Angry Birds games at the end of 2019,” the company said.

The company has also increased investment in the 80-percent-owned spin-off company of Liege, that is the construction of a Netflix-style streaming service for mobile games.

Rovio said that the search for external funding for Hatch and was willing to reduce its ownership in Hatch to below 50 percent.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki; editing by Rashmi Aich

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