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Rovio Games had its best year ever in 2016

Angry Birds firms discusses latest financial results at GDC 2017

Rovio has described 2016 as a "turnaround year" for the firm as it reported growth across the board.

Hosting a press conference during GDC 2017 in San Francisco, CEO Kati Levoranta discussed the firm's fiscal results for the year ending December 31st 2016, for which gross revenues came in at €190m - up 34% when compared to 2015. Earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) were reported €17.5m, also a year-on-year increase.

Unsurprisingly, it's the mobile business that has proved to be most lucrative for the company with Levoranta declaring that Rovio Games enjoyed its best year ever in 2016. The games division's revenues rose 40% year-on-year to €159m, while its EBIT grew 640% year-on-year to €29.6m.

The shift towards the free-to-play and games-as-a-service models seems to be working well, so most of this growth came from previously released games rather than new launches. Angry Birds 2, Friends, and Pop were identified as three particularly successful titles.

Meanwhile the animation and entertainment division fared well after the launch of the Angry Birds Movie, which took No.1 in 52 countries. It was also the third largest foreign animation movie ever in China.

Looking forward to 2017, Levoranta said Rovio plans to continue developing new IP, such as the forthcoming Battle Bay, but also growing the Angry Birds series.

"Our brand awareness is 90% globally," she told attendees. "In some countries, it's closer to 100%."

Finally, the CEO teased a new animated series - Angry Birds Blues - which focuses on three blue baby birds and the Hatchlings, which are younger versions of other Angry Birds characters.

The financial results no doubt come as a source of relief to much of Rovio's team as the firm has faced some tough times after being slow to adapt to the rise of free-to-play. A restructure last year split the company into two divisions - games and animation - and the focus on maintaining games with longer tails and more IAP-generated revenue has enabled the firm to re-invest in its future, starting with a new studio in London.

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