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Empire moves back into profit as revenues hit record levels

Publisher Empire Interactive is back in the black, recording a profit of some £0.6 million on record revenues of £30.4 million for the full year 2003 as several of the company's franchises established themselves strongly in the marketplace.

The company's revenues were up 35 per cent over the previous year, while the profit figure turned around a loss of almost £2.9 million in 2002, marking 2003 out as a hugely successful year for the British publisher.

Among the franchises fingered as being responsible for this success were Starsky & Hutch, Ford Racing and Big Mutha Truckers, all of which performed well throughout the year. Empire has also signed deals to produce games based on Starship Troopers, Starsky & Hutch 2, and Bad Boys II (the game for which is already out in many territories, and performing strongly).

"We are very pleased with the progress the group has made during the year, particularly the return to profitability and the delivery of all titles on schedule," commented Empire chief executive Ian Higgins.

"The success of products such as Starsky & Hutch and Big Mutha Truckers creates franchises for the group which also build value in the future through sequel titles. We continue to strengthen our product offering and are excited about the new signings the group made during the year."

Empire changed its accounting practices during 2003 to bring it in line with the recommended accounting methods for companies of this type. The company has also provided selected figures worked out under the old system, which show that using the same accounting practices as last year, it would have made a profit of £0.1 million on sales of £28.6 million.

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