Eidos' results received a mixed response from the City and Wall Street, despite the games publisher's prediction that it would have a buoyant year.
The publisher's results for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 March reflected the health of the sector in general and Eidos in particular.
Fourth-quarter profit was up 130 per cent to £8.1 million and turnover was up 67 per cent to £57.2 million. The yearly results were equally healthy, with profit up 154 per cent to £42 million and turnover up 65 per cent to £226.3 million.
An increase in the popularity of budget ranges led to a drop in gross margin for the year from 65.6 per cent to 63.9 per cent. The Eidos share price climbed 13 per cent to 2107.5p following the immediate release of the results last week.
However, Wall Street showed concern about the turbulent sector when analysts at USB Piper Jaffray downgraded Eidos shares from buy to neutral on 2 June. The City was upbeat when Goldman Sachs considered it as a trading buy. FTSE shares closed at 2140p, falling 40p the following day.
Charles Cornwall, chief executive of Eidos, predicted 'continued long-term growth and profitability for the group. A strong fourth quarter rounds off our best full year.'
Ian Livingstone, chairman of Eidos, added: 'We enter the traditionally quieter trading months of the year with a robust release schedule and a heavy but carefully targeted programme of investment.'
Nineteen titles were launched in the year, with eight titles selling more than 350,000. The next batch will include the long-awaited Daikatana and Omikron, Urban Chaos, Deus Ex, Commandos 2, Resident Evil III, UEFA 2000, Championship Manager 2000 and the next in the Tomb Raider series.
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