Six month financial results for publisher Empire Interactive have shown a low turnover and increased operating losses, but the company remains confident of strong second half results.
Turnover for the period ending 30th June was GBP 6.9 million, compared to a substantially higher GBP 12.9 million for the same period in 2004. Empire attributes this lower figure to the company's product release schedule, which is heavily weighted towards the second half of the year.
Gross profit for the first half of the year was GBP 2.8 million (GBP 6.5 million for 2004) and is again attributed to the release schedule, which should see a clear improvement for the second half. Empire has stated that it has specifically targeted its retail schedule towards the latter end of the year, when traditionally, sales are much higher throughout the industry.
Whilst operating expenses have been reduced to GBP 6.7 million compared to GBP 7.4 million for the same period in 2004, operating losses have increased by GBP 3 million. Empire has invested a substantial GBP 4.1 million in development costs for new titles, including Starship Troopers, and expects to recoup that investment with its second half sales.
Ian Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of Empire stated: "The second half, with Christmas trading, is more than ever the most important part of the year for the Group. As planned, the Group successfully completed Big Mutha Truckers 2 in the first half. Other major titles, such as FlatOut 2, Starship Troopers and Taito Legends were always scheduled for the second half."
"Together with the Christmas sales of FlatOut and Big Mutha Truckers 2 in the US, new signings such as Jacked and Carol Vorderman's Sudoku and sales of the Group's Xplosiv range, we anticipate strong turnover in the second half," he added.
Empire continues to generate a stream of revenue from back catalogue titles, and remains focused on the Xplosiv budget range, which secured the top four places in the budget PC charts earlier in the year.