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Activision posts Q4 losses of $233 million

But profits for 2010 up to $418 million from 2009's $113 million

Activision has posted net yearly revenues of $4.45 billion (£2.77bn) for 2010, an increase of $170 million (£105.9m) from $4.38 billion (£2.72bn) in 2009.

Full-year profits were $418 million (£259.4m), up $305 million (£190m) from 2009's $113 million (£70.3m).

The company posted a loss of $233 million (£144.9) for the fourth quarter, itself an improvement from a loss of $286 million (£177.8m) for the quarter ending December 31, 2009. Quarterly revenues were $1.427 billion (£888.8m).

The company has predicted $3.95 billion in revenues for 2011, but was unable to include any projected profits from Blizzard releases in this figure as they have yet to be officially scheduled.

"Because of focus and disciplined execution, 2010 was another extraordinary year for Activision Blizzard," said CEO Bobby Kotick. "We made some of the best games we have ever made in over 30 years of being in the interactive entertainment business.

"We benefited from new content releases for two of the world's most successful online entertainment franchises: Activision Publishing's Call of Duty: Black Ops and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. During the year, we grew our net revenues, delivered record earnings, achieved record GAAP and non-GAAP operating margins of 11 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively, and generated $1.4 billion in operating cash flow.

"Activision Blizzard's key franchises have larger audience bases than ever before and we continue to see significantly enhanced user activity and engagement for our expanding online communities. Our revenues from digital channels, which now account for over 30 per cent of our overall revenues, were driven by increased sales of Activision Publishing's Call of Duty map packs and value-added services for Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft," added Kotick.

"Online gaming continues to broaden its appeal. Our shareholders continue to be well positioned to benefit from these trends and the focus of our incredibly talented employees around the world continues to allow us to lead our industry. We expect to continue to drive long-term growth, increase our return on invested capital and generate strong cash flow as we have over the last few years.

"Our strong balance sheet affords us the financial flexibility to invest in games that few companies have the ability to create and allows us to provide our shareholders with value through dividends and share repurchases."

Call of Duty: Black Ops broke sales records on day one of release and went on to become the biggest selling game of 2010, whilst Cataclysm surpassed 4.7 million sales in one month.

The huge success of these titles, and the relatively poor sales of other, more experimental titles, lead Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg to comment that the company needed to focus its output into its most profitable channels in order to remain competitive.

That focus seems to be starkly reflected in today's decision to axe the Guitar Hero franchise, as well as the forthcoming title, True Crime, alongside the confirmed job losses at UK studio FreeStyle Games.

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