EA profit exceeds Wall Street expectations

Last updated 16:40 23/07/2014

MONSTER MACHINE: A prop mech from Titanfall on display before the opening of E3 in June.

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Video game publisher Electronic Arts has reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for the first quarter, driven by robust sales of titles such as Titanfall, digital revenue and cost control.

"On the digital side, (we saw) great continued growth on mobile and PC full game downloads and our subscriptions business with all of those up dramatically," CFO Blake Jorgensen said in an interview.

Games such as Ultimate Fighting Championship, football title FIFA and shooter Titanfall were strong revenue drivers, Jorgensen said. For the three months ended June 30, non-GAAP revenue rose about 57 per cent to US$775 million from a year ago, exceeding Wall Street analysts' estimates of US$713.2 million.

But the Redwood City, California-based company said on Tuesday it was postponing the launch of the annual edition of its military-style shooter game Battlefield to early next year.

The launch of Battlefield: Hardline was previously planned for this year's holiday shopping period. It has been delayed to incorporate new features based on player feedback on its test version, executives told analysts on an earnings call.

The company also said the release of role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition has been moved forward six weeks to November 18 in North America. The company reaffirmed its previous forecast of non-GAAP revenue of US$4.1 billion and earnings per share of US$1.85 in the fiscal year ending March 2015.

Video game industry software sales, which lagged in April and June, are seeing a boost as games for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 devices, which were launched last holiday, gain steam. But sales of titles for older consoles, which have a larger install base, continue to slip.

"We're right now at that place we're still seeing headwinds," Jorgensen said.

Sales of the Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 have been running 90 per cent higher than their older versions, Jorgensen said.

Electronic Arts' shares have soared about 30 per cent since it launched its Xbox exclusive sci-fi shooter game Titanfall on March 11.

The company is on track to launch a new iteration of its city-building Sims game later this year and annual instalments of its FIFA and Madden franchises.

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- Reuters


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