UK games developer Argonaut has announced its financial results for the year ended July 31 2002, revealing a threefold increase in turnover to £14.2 million and a profit of £3.2 million – the first time since the company was floated in March 2000 that it has recorded a profit.
The massively positive financial report is sure to boost confidence not only in Argonaut, but in the UK development sector as a whole. As well as the key profit and turnover figures, the report mentions the new publishing deals signed during the period with Vivendi Universal (for SWAT:GTS) and LEGO (for Bionicle) and the signing of publishing agreements for I-Ninja and Orchid with Namco after the end of the years trading.
Although overall trading for the company has been excellent, the stand-out product mentioned in the report is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was released last November and has generated £5.9 million of royalties to date. The second PSone Harry Potter title is due for release next month.
Argonaut teams worked on eight signed games (16 versions in total) during the reporting period, an increase from six signed titles (9 versions) during the previous year. The company has correspondingly grown its employee base, from 165 staff in 2001 to 251 by the end of fiscal 2002. The other growth areas for the company have been through acquisitions, with LTStudios and Particle Systems being added to the group’s portfolio during the year – and since the end of July, mobile game developer Morpheme has also been acquired by Argonaut.
The highly successful launches of the modern consoles have created considerable demand for high quality games, according to Argonaut chairman Julian Paul, which we believe will continue to gain momentum up to and beyond Christmas this year. Argonaut has the game engines, the development teams, financial security and the publisher relationships in place to capitalise on this anticipated growth in the market over the coming years.