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Strong full-year figures boost Atari

Publisher Atari has announced its financial results for the year ended March 31, showing a large jump in revenues and a healthy profit figure which turns around a net loss in the previous reporting period.

Publisher Atari has announced its financial results for the year ended March 31, showing a large jump in revenues and a healthy profit figure which turns around a net loss in the previous reporting period.

Due to a change in the way that Atari reports its results, these figures are actually for a nine-month period, so all comparisons are drawn with an equivalent nine-month period last year.

Revenues for the period were $404.6 million, which represents a strong 40 per cent climb over the previous year. Publishing revenues were up by 56 per cent, while distribution revenues showed a very slight decline.

The key figure, however, is the net income - which is reported as $18.1 million for the period, representing a major turn around from the $10.2 million loss in the same period last year.

These figures confirm that Atari's finances are on the road to repair - although the company still has a debt problem to tackle, the situation is certainly looking a lot rosier than it did a few years ago, with major restructuring in both the USA and Europe paying off in the company's financial results.

It's also worth bearing in mind that these figures don't cover the launch of Enter The Matrix in May - easily the company's biggest game in the past year. The next set of quarterly figures should give some indication of the success of that title - the company claimed to have shipped some 4 million units of it at launch, and between 2.5 and 3 million of those are thought to have been sold already.

In terms of what's really been doing the business for Atari prior to Enter The Matrix, one franchise stands out above all others - namely the Dragon Ball Z franchise, which has sold very strongly in a number of different incarnations for the company. The Unreal franchise is also a key element of the line-up, and although it's practically unknown in Europe, the Backyard Sports franchise is apparently doing rather nicely in North America.

"Our positive results demonstrate that our portfolio management is performing well," according to chairman and CEO Bruno Bonnell. "We have successfully expanded productive franchises, taking them to the next level, thereby paving the way for entirely new properties or the expansion of still other franchises."

New titles which the company expects to roll out in the coming months include new games based on the Mission Impossible and Terminator 3 licenses, a number of new titles based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, and the first PS2 incarnation of Reflections' hugely popular PSone series, Driver.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

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.

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