(Adds details, analyst)
By Jussi Rosendahl and Sakari Suoninen
HELSINKI, April 28 Finland's Rovio
Entertainment, maker of the Angry Birds computer game, said its
earnings halved last year due to investments in its animation
business and stalling sales.
After scoring a global breakthrough with Angry Birds, in
which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal birds'
eggs, Rovio has expanded the brand into an animated TV series
and merchandising of toys and clothing.
But the company faces a battle to extend its initial success
and one analyst said it had been late to respond to a shift to
freely available games on smarphones such as Apple Inc's
"It has to find captivating free games in the next year or
it risks losing consumer interest," analyst Tero Kuittinen at
consultancy Frank Magid & Associates said on Monday.
Rovio said its net profit after tax slumped to 26.9 million
euros ($37 million) from 55.5 million in 2012, on revenue which
remained roughly flat at 156 million. Operating profit fell to
36.5 million euros from 76.8 million.
Rovio itself called the year "foundation-building" and added
that future results would depend on how well last year's
The company's stalling sales meant Rovio fell far behind its
rivals in mobile gaming. Clash of Clans maker Supercell, also
from Finland, saw revenue grow to $892 million in 2013 from $101
million a year earlier, while sales at Sweden's King Digital
Entertainment grew more than tenfold to $1.88 billion.
Angry Birds downloads have exceeded 2 billion, making it the
most downloaded game ever, Rovio said.
($1 = 0.7227 Euros)
(Editing by Keiron Henderson and David Holmes)