Management delivered bad news in the earnings report for Embracer Group’s fiscal Q4 (January-March) and fiscal year ended March 31, despite growth in its tabletop game and comic and film divisions. Earnings for the fiscal year ended March 2023 were below expectations for the videogame-based company, which CEO Lars Wingefors attributed to “game delays, weaker consumer demand and lackluster reception for certain notable releases.”
On top of the bad news in its financial results, Wingefors revealed that late on May 23, Embracer was “…informed that one major strategic partnership that has been negotiated for seven months will not materialize.”
Investors punished the stock, pushing the price down 45% in trading on NASDAQ Stockholm Thursday.
Tabletop game sales by Embracer’s Asmodee division were up 6% for the January through March fiscal Q4 period (on a pro forma basis, Asmodee was acquired by Embracer in March 2022), reversing a negative trend in the October through December quarter (see “Asmodee Sales Down 5%“). Asmodee sales were following market trends in the U.S., where the games market was up 9% in the quarter, the company reported.
Fiscal Q4 (January – March) sales in Embracer’s Entertainment and Services division, which includes Dark Horse, were up 8% on a pro forma basis, driven by sales increases from sister company PLAION.
Embracer Group sales for the January-March quarter were up 79% due to acquisitions, but down 4% on an organic basis, dragged down by declining sales of mobile games. For the fiscal year ended March 30, sales were around $3.5 billion (reported in Swedish Kroner and converted to dollars at today’s rate), with organic growth of around 2%.
Profits were $71.6 million for the quarter, and $415 million for the fiscal year.
Both Asmodee and Dark Horse expressed positive outlooks for the next April through March fiscal year. Asmodee expects high single digit organic growth driven by TCGs (Asmodee distributes Pokemon TCG in Europe).
Dark Horse noted expanded manga placements involving “thousands of stores” in the new fiscal year, and anticipates sales increases as a result of switching from Diamond Comic Distributors to Penguin Random House Publisher Services in June (see “Dark Horse Signs Expanded Distribution Deal with PRHPS“).