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Supercell revenues flat, but profits up to €917m as Royale soars

Paananen acknowledges challenges posed by Pokemon Go

Supercell has reported record profits for FY2016, posting €917 million in profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation - up from €848 million in 2015. Revenues for the firm stayed relatively stable at €2.1 billion.

Speaking at a brief press conference at the company's Helsinki headquarters yesterday, CEO Illka Paananen acknowledged the challenge posed by mobile mega-hits such as Pokemon Go, but promised that the Tencent-owned company would be focusing on what it did best rather than being drawn into chasing competitors. Paananen also noted that the company's newest flagship title, Clash Royale, had performed admirably.

"Despite tighter competition, this was the best year so far in financial terms. Clash Royale was a huge hit," he told press. "In the summer, when Pokemon GO was a huge hit, a taxi driver asked me what would be our counter-attack. I said there's no point in doing something against a competitor, we must only focus in doing what we do best, improve our games further."

In addition to the success of Royale, Paananen noted that a decreased spend on advertising and other forms of customer acquisition for its four live games had contributed considerably to the rise in the bottom line. Should the developer have cracked that particular problem, it could be on its way to solving what is broadly recognised as one of the biggest problems in mobile publishing.

"2016 was our best year so far," said the CEO in a later statement. "We released our fourth game, Clash Royale, which has been really successful so far - topping the charts in 131 countries right away and has now spent a total of 130 days at number one in the U.S. To do this in the most competitive environment for mobile games ever, with over 750 new games released every day on average, is a fantastic achievement.

"Just as importantly, our three existing games continued to thrive - each of them has not only reached the top 10, but stayed there for a long time. It has been incredible to see how our games have become part of peoples' lives this way, we have millions of players all over the world who have played our games for years. That has always been the long-term vision of Supercell, to be the best place in the world for the best teams to produce games that people want to play for years and years.

"As I said last year, and I'm pleased to report again, what makes me proud is that we've managed to stay as a small company despite this success. At the end of 2016, we were 213 people in total in our five offices across the world."

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