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Zynga enjoys best mobile performance in company history

Mobile revenue reaches $212 million in Q3 2018

Zynga has this week revealed the best mobile performance in company history, delivering results ahead of guidance and surpassing its near-term margin goal.

According to the Q3 2018 financial report, mobile revenue was up 9% year-on-year to $213 million, while mobile bookings were up 23% to $230 million.

It was also a record year for mobile ads, with revenue up 45% year-on-year, and bookings up 47% year-on-year.

Across the Zynga mobile portfolio, the average DAUs increased by 10% year-on-year, and MAUs were up 7% year-on-year.

Additionally, while mobile user pay revenue was down 1% for the period, bookings were up 16%.

"We have significantly improved the fundamentals of our business and are confident in our ability to grow profitably over the long term," said CEO Frank Gibeau.

The strong performance was driven by Zynga's evergreen titles, in particular Words With Friends, which saw revenue up by 42% and bookings up 53% year-on-year.

CSR2 saw flat revenue, but a 7% increase in bookings, and Zynga Poker also remained flat in-terms of revenue, matching its franchise history, and increasing bookings by 3% year-on-year.

However, revenue was down in the Social Slots portfolio on mobile by 9%, and bookings also took a 4% hit for the period.

Company-wide revenue was up 4% year-on-year to $233.2 million, and mobile now represents 91% of Zynga's revenue compared to 87% a year ago. CFO Gerard Griffin said he expects web to continue declining, along with older mobile titles.

Net income for the quarter was $10.2 million, above guidance by $31.2 million, but represented a decline of $7.9 million year-on-year.

EBITDA was $38 million, above guidance by $22 million, but an overall decrease of $6.6 million year-on-year.

Zynga also revealed its strategy going forward, with a renewed focus on licensed IP games including Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.

In total, the developer is expected to release nine new mobile titles by the end of 2020.

"Our goal for developing new games is to create forever franchises by combining talent game teams with strategic brands - both licenses and owned IP - that captivate players around the world," said Zynga.

"We're taking a rigorous approach to engineering new games with extensive consumer and soft launch testing to ensure that these titles entertain and engage players over the long term. It's important to note that to takes time to scale audience and monetization in a new game."

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Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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