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THQ records $5.6 million loss for second quarter

Sales down 39% year-on-year; company attributes performance to quiet release period

THQ net sales were down 39 per cent in the second quarter of fiscal 2010 to USD 100.4 million, compared to USD 151.6 million last year.

Its loss for the period ending September 30, 2009 was USD 5.6 million, or USD 0.08 per share, a loss that compared more positively to the second quarter of 2008, when losses were USD 115.3 million (USD 1.73 per share).

The company attributed its quarterly performance to a quiet release schedule - it had no major releases so, as a result, sales were driven primarily by continued sales of older games.

"THQ is now operating as a more focused, more efficient company," said president and CEO Brian Farrell. "We continue to deliver highly rated hit titles such as UFC 2009 Undisputed and WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2010. We believe we are well positioned this holiday with our strong mass market line-up led by the highly rated WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2010, and the latest version of our multi-million unit franchise MX Vs ATV Reflex. In addition, we have positioned THQ to take a leading role in emerging online platforms in Asia and the US."

In July 2009, THQ prevailed in arbitration with JAKKS Pacific and established a 40 per cent lower payment rate for games sold under the WWE name. As a result, the latest quarterly figures included a one-time benefit of USD 24.2 million from the settlement.

The company has gained market share over the first nine months of 2009, making it the third largest independent games publisher in the US and the fourth in Europe.

Outlook for fiscal 2010 remained unchanged, and THQ expects to achieve net sales for the year that are at least USD 50 million over what was achieved in fiscal 2009.

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Kath Brice