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Leaner SCi now "in good shape" to challenge

Trading update claims "good progress" has been made with re-structuring plans

SCi has "taken decisive steps" to trim its operations in a re-structuring plan that should now allow it to challenge more effectively in the videogame market, according to a trading statement released today.

The note, which follows the company's financial end of year on June 30, adds some more detail to some of the measures it has taken in the past couple of months to strengthen the business, including the appointment of Warner Bros' Kevin Tsujihara to the board and the "substantial downsizing" of Pivotal Games.

Also mentioned was the imminent sale of Proein (Eidos' distribution business in Spain), the transition of production services to cheaper Montreal, a 25 per cent reduction in group headcount, and the full integration of US distribution with the Warner Bros network.

That all resulted in an operating cost reduction of GBP 14 million, with re-structuring costs within the GBP 7 million target, while revenues for the year are expected to hit GBP 134 million.

"We have a clear strategy in place and have taken decisive steps to become a studio-led business with a focus on cornerstone franchises and a flexible approach to distribution," said CEO Phil Rogers. "There has been substantial change and the business is in good shape to take advantage of the strong overall market for videogaming worldwide."

The company's key franchise, Tomb Raider, will see a new addition - Underworld - hit the shelves in November, with Just Cause 2, Battlestations Pacific and a new Batman title also scheduled for release in the second half of 2008-9 financial year.

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