Leading publisher Electronic Arts has announced a strong set of second quarter figures, showing rises in both turnover and profit, and expects the current quarter to be its biggest ever holiday sales season.
Boosted by strong sales of sports titles such as Madden NFL 2004 and NCAA Football 2004 in the USA, EA recorded revenues of $530 million for the September quarter, up 17 per cent over last year's figures.
Profits for the quarter were up 52 per cent year on year, at $77 million - driven by higher gross margins as well as the significant increase in revenues. Several other sports titles also helped the company's figures, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 being a notable success as it topped the charts in both the UK and the USA.
Looking forward to the holiday season, EA is expecting to realise record turnover of between $1.425 and $1.475 billion during the three months ended December 31, a rise of 16 to 20 per cent over last year's figures and a record sales quarter for the publisher.
The company believes that its line-up for Christmas is its strongest ever, with updates to key franchises including Lord of the Rings, Medal of Honor, Harry Potter, Need for Speed, SSX, FIFA and NBA Live all due to appear during the coming weeks.
In terms of full year results, EA's current guidance suggests that it'll realise revenue of between $2.85 and $2.93 billion - representing year on year growth of between 15 and 18 per cent, and bringing EA tantalisingly close to breaking the $3 billion turnover barrier.
The company has also announced that it's to perform a two-for-one stock split of its common stock, which will be carried out through a share for share dividend on November 3rd, with trading at the post-split price due to begin on November 18th.