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Starbreeze cuts losses to $9.9m

Payday 3 publishing plans hindered by travel restrictions

Swedish developer and publisher Starbreeze has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2020, which show the firm's ongoing recovery is proceeding well.

For the three months ended March 31, the company reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of SEK 10.5 million ($1.07 million) -- a significant improvement on the SEK 106.7 million ($10.9 million) loss reported during the same period last year.

Similarly, loss before tax has changed from SEK 167.3 million ($17 million) in Q1 2019 to SEK 97.3 million ($9.9 million).

Costs related to Starbreeze' reconstruction have decreased from SEK 11 million ($1.1 million) to SEK 3.8 million ($386,651).

However, net sales are down year-on-year from SEK 47.8 million ($4.9 million) to SEK 22 million ($2.2 million). Starbreeze notes that the 2019 figure includes a "non-reoccurring [sic] revenue" of SEK 13.2 million ($1.3 million).

Payday accounted for SEK 21.7 million ($2.2 million) -- 99% of all Q1 net sales. By comparison, it generated SEK 26.7 million ($2.7 million) during the same period last year.

Starbreeze notes that the release of Payday 2 DLC Silk Road: Cartel Business -- plus the number of people at home during COVID-19 lockdown measures -- saw increased demand for its games during the quarter.

"Covid-19 has had profound impact on the world and on Starbreeze as a company," said CEO Mikael Nermark. "We are carefully monitoring developments, adjusting to prevailing circumstances and following the recommendations of government authorities.

"To ensure the well-being of our people to the greatest extent possible, all employees have been working remotely since mid-March. Although this is a new situation for most, it is working well and has had no discernible effect on our productivity. At the same time, we see that the previously implemented cost savings established and having full effect."

Going forward, the company's focus is still on Payday 3. Nermark says talks with potential publishers are "continuing in a positive spirit," but travel restrictions enforced due to the pandemic have "somewhat impeded ongoing discussions."

As announced earlier this year, Starbreeze has a new Chief Financial Officer in Mats Juhl, who took up this position last week.

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