Biomutant's 1m sales and Gearbox, Easybrain acquisitions drive Embracer sales to $389m

Group now has 180 titles in development, expects growth to ramp up in second half of fiscal year

Embracer Group's financial year is off to a solid start, with net sales of SEK 3.4 billion ($389 million) in the first quarter.

Overall net sales for the company were up 66% for the three months ended June 30 when compared to the same period last year. The bulk of this -- SEK 2.96 billion ($339 million) -- comes from its Games business, up 83% year-on-year.

THQ Nordic was the largest segment and showed the most growth, up 37% year-on-year to SEK 668.7 ($76.5 million).

This was largely attributed to the launch of Biomutant, which has sold more than one million copies since launching at the end of May.

Embracer added that the game recouped all costs -- including development, marketing and even the acquisition of creator Experiment 101 and the IP -- within a week of launch.

Koch Media remains the second biggest segment at SEK 637.6 million ($72.9 million), up 4% from last year.

Saber Interactive was the only division to show decline, with net sales down 13% from SEK 349.2 million ($39.9 million) to SEK 304.9 million ($34.9 million). This was attributed to a lack of new releases, compared to last year's successful launch of Snowrunner.

Two significant acquisitions earlier this year also bolstered Embracer's financial results. The addition of Easybrain contributed net sales of SEK 576 million ($65.9 million), while Gearbox Entertainment brought with it net sales of SEK 437 million ($50 million).

Sales of Embracer's partner publishing and film business were up 4% year-on-year to SEK 465.7 million ($53.4 million).

The group's EBITDA rose by 59% to SEK 1.5 billion ($171.5 million), while operational EBIT was up 79% to SEK 1.3 billion ($148.7 million).

In his comments, CEO Lars Wingefors said both sales and operational EBIT had set new company records, in line with management expectations.

He also said the number of games in development across the group had risen to 180, although it's worth nothing this includes titles that will be published by other companies, such as Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, which will be published by 2K.

Wingefors noted that the next quarter will likely rely heavily on back catalogue titles, but a "strong pipeline of new releases" for the third and fourth quarters will drive growth for the full financial year.

This pipeline does not appear to be fully public as of yet, with game announced planned for up to December, and Wingefors predicting a "busier than previously forecasted" fourth quarter (January to March 2022).

Towards the end of his comments, Wingefors alluded to the current controversy around firms such as Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft, which have been faced with allegations of discrimination and harassment.

"As recent times have shown, there are also other challenges in society and in our industry. It is important that we, as an industry, but also as individual companies and as a parent company, each take our responsibility to change these social structures of discrimination," he wrote.

"For Embracer Group our common foundation is our code of compliance, which aims to support inclusion, diversity, and gender equality. Furthermore, we trust that each company in our Group listen, discuss and act. A way to measure and follow up our employees is done via a global survey that allows each employee to answer several questions anonymously."

As has become almost customary, Embracer announced more acquisitions alongside its financial results, with Demiurge Studios, Fractured Byte and SmartPhone Labs being added to Saber Interactive.

Earlier this month, the company revealed it had acquired eight more studios, including mobile games firm CrazyLabs and Road 96 developer DigixArt.

Embracer Group's headcount now stands at 7,886 -- almost double what it was this time last year. Of this, 6,387 are directly involved in games development, a figure that is up 101% year-on-year.

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