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Eidos quells takeover rumours, warns of income shortfall

British publisher Eidos has issued a short trading update warning that unit sales of the recently launched Hitman: Contracts have been below expectations, and confirming that it is not currently in takeover talks despite City rumours.

British publisher Eidos has issued a short trading update warning that unit sales of the recently launched Hitman: Contracts have been below expectations, and confirming that it is not currently in takeover talks despite City rumours.

While initial shipments of the latest Hitman titles have matched expectations, with approximately 1.5 million units delivered to retail, actual retail sales of the game have been lower than expected despite good reviews and number one chart placings in several countries.

As a result, Eidos expects to see a shortfall of around 700,000 re-orders, precipitating a decline in operating profit of some £9 million; although this figure may be changed by the performance of other titles in the lead up to the company's financial year end at the end of June.

The company used the trading update to assure the markets that it is not currently in any talks with any party regarding a takeover bid, despite intense speculation over the future of the company in recent weeks.

This speculation has been fuelled by major acquisitions of Eidos stock in the past few months, with investment bank Schroders now holding over 20 per cent of the company's shares following a large number of small acquisitions, while an unidentified purchaser recently acquired some 12 per cent of the company.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.