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Infogrames Posts Loss, Sells  Civilization  Franchise

Infogrames Posts Loss, Sells Civilization Franchise

November 24, 2004 | By Andrew Wilson

November 24, 2004 | By Andrew Wilson
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Atari parent company, Infogrames, has posted its financial results covering the first half of the 2005 fiscal year, showing a total net loss of 42.2 million (USD $55.6 million), in part due to the 16.7 (USD $22.0 million) million tied to a previously reported Nexgen Capital transaction which helped manage the company's shorter-term debt. Infogrames' revenues for those 6 months were 285.5 (USD $376.4 million) million on a constant exchange-rate basis, down from 314.9 (USD $415.1 million) million last year.

However, the company also unexpectedly announced that it had sold the rights to the long-running Civilization strategy game franchise, originally created by designer Sid Meier while at the Infogrames-acquired Microprose. Meier's development company Firaxis is known to be creating Civilization IV, and Firaxis previously acquired the rights to a number of old Meier-designed Microprose games from Infogrames, but there's been no official confirmation on who has acquired the IP to this title. Infogrames simply stated that the rights have been sold for $22.3 million USD, generating a one-time gain of 15.5 million.

As for software highlights, Infogrames reported strong sales of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which reached the top of the PC charts in the U.S. market. The company also announced that over 500,000 units of its Atari Flashback 'TV Game' system have been shipped to stores.

Shortly following Infogrames' results announcement, Paris-traded shares in the company trended downwards, as worries surfaced that Infogrames would have to issue more stock to fund its plan to pay back its 2005 convertible bonds. Nonetheless, while analysts were reportedly disappointed by its net loss, the company forecasts an operating profit in the range of $20 - $30 million for the fiscal year ended March 2005.


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