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Weak quarter for Atari, but Infogrames reports good nine-month profits

French publisher Infogrames has reported of its last nine months of trading, revealing that the company's operating profits have climbed significantly, but US subsidiary Atari has announced poor results for the last quarter of 2003.

French publisher Infogrames has reported of its last nine months of trading, revealing that the company's operating profits have climbed significantly, but US subsidiary Atari has announced poor results for the last quarter of 2003.

Infogrames, which distributes its games worldwide under the publishing brand Atari, saw its operating profits rise by 43 per cent to â'¬28.2 million during the nine months ended December 31, a sure sign that the company's recent cost cutting measures are starting to pay off financially.

The rise in operating profit comes despite a drop in revenues of 21 per cent, with income for the period standing at â'¬595.5 million - largely brought on by the weakness of the US dollar.

Meanwhile US subsidiary Atari Inc has announced its results for the quarter ended December 31st, revealing a significant decline in profits over the previous year as key titles failed to perform in the busy pre-Christmas market.

Revenues for the quarter dropped to $190.6 million from $210.6 million in the previous year, while net profits dropped to $23 million (19 cents per share) from $30.1 million (43 cents per share).

Many of the best performers for Atari during the quarter were titles licensed from Bandai, with franchises such as Dragon Ball Z and Beyblade being the company's best sellers and helping it to achieve a number four ranking in the publisher market share charts, up from number five last year.

However the company's own titles, such as Terminator 3 and Mission Impossible, performed disappointingly - a worrying factor for Atari, which seems to be finding itself increasingly reliant on its relationship with Bandai in order to maintain its status as a publisher.

"This was a challenging quarter for us," admitted Atari CEO Bruno Bonnell, "as some of our titles met our expectations while others fell short. Some of our holiday lineup did not achieve the same success as titles from our Dragon Ball Z franchise or new franchises such as Beyblade and Yu Yu Hakusho, but successful sales are not confined to the holiday season."

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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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