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Starbreeze losses were $30.8 million for the first nine months of 2019

But company is confident reconstruction efforts and new publishing deal Payday 3 will save the studio

Swedish publisher Starbreeze has posted its latest financial results showing that, while the company is still reporting a loss, these loses are decreasing.

Net sales for the three months ended September 30, 2019 came in at SEK 21.1 million ($2.2 million), down 38% from the SEK 33.9 million ($3.5 million) reported in the same period last year. The publisher's flagship Payday games accounted for SEK 17.5 million ($1.8 million) of this, down 16% from SEK 20.9 million ($2.18 million).

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was reported as a loss of SEK 10.9 million ($1.14 million), a significant improvement on the SEK 37.9 million ($3.95 million) loss reported last year. Loss before tax for the quarter was SEK 68.4 million ($7.13 million) -- considerably less than the SEK 102.3 million ($10.7 million) suffered in 2018.

However, the full nine-month results show the rough period Starbreeze continues to struggle through. For the first three quarters of 2019, EBITDA was a loss of SEK 143.3 million ($14.9 million), compared to SEK 63.4 million ($6.6 million) in the black in 2018.

Loss before tax for the nine months has increased from SEK 82.9 million ($8.64 million) last year to SEK 295.7 million ($30.8 million) this year.

Starbreeze was on the verge of insolvency at the tail end of last year, but applied for reconstruction, a special recovery period for Swedish businesses. The company has already successfully secured three extensions, giving them until December 3, 2019 to recover.

The company recently issued an estimate of its future cash flows, predicting that new publishing agreements for Payday 3 and mobile spin-off Payday: Crime War in the first half of 2020 will give Starbreeze a much needed boost.

Big things are also expected from Payday 3, although the game is not due for release until 2022 at the earliest. Work on this project has "intensified" and the company is currently "reworking the design phase."

Acting CEO Mikale Nermark said work to refocus the business on games based on owned IP is "continuing apace", with Payday central to these efforts. He added that cost savings have "begun to have effects" during the last quarter, and says it will be possible to further cut costs related to administration once the company is out of reconstruction.

Nermark believes finding a publishing partner for Payday will "help us further develop the brand over the next ten years," noting that Starbreeze has decided to also find a new publishing partner for Crime War after Universal decided to axe its mobile publishing business.

"The company's future and further development is my continued primary focus," said Nermark. "A publishing deal for Payday 3 and Payday: Crime War are key components, but also making sure that we deliver products with high quality. It will be achieved by creating an environment where the company can focus on its task, something which we are seeing the start of.  

"After almost a year in reconstruction and as the CEO of the company, my colleagues and I are focusing on bringing the reconstruction to a close in a positive way. As we are nearing the end of this year I look towards the future with optimism. A future where Payday is our top priority."

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