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EA Reports Strong Q4 Digital Growth, Narrower Annual Loss

EA Reports Strong Q4 Digital Growth, Narrower Annual Loss

May 4, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

Electronic Arts has posted the financial results for its fiscal 2011, cutting its annual losses by 59 percent on a year with mostly flat revenues.

The company posted an annual loss of $276 million, a marked improvement over the $677 million it lost in fiscal 2010. Revenue totalled $3.59 billion, down slightly from the $3.65 billion posted in the previous year.

Its Q4 in particular was strong, with a $151 million profit reported, versus $30 million in the prior year. Quarterly revenues were $1.09 billion, up from $979 million year-on-year.

The company's digital business showed the most quarterly growth: its $211 million in revenue is a 42 percent improvement over the $144 it posted one year prior. By comparison, its packaged publishing business showed only a 5 percent revenue increase, and its distribution business -- which includes the EA Partners imprint -- was completely flat.

"EA is building its digital business in a way only EA can, with key brands performing well cross-platform from mobile, to social to console," said EA CEO John Riccitiello in a statement.

Revenue from its iOS device business and its Playfish social game site increased by more than 100 percent in the fourth quarter, the company reported.

Overall mobile revenues during the quarter were $70 million, up year-on-year from $55 million. Monthly active users in EA's social games dropped to 36 million from 51 million during the quarter, year-on-year, while "core registered users" jumped to 112 million from 61 million.

According to the company, seven titles shipped in its fourth quarter have shipped over 1 million units each, with three titles -- Crysis 2, Dragon Age 2 and Dead Space 2 -- breaking the 2 million barrier. Dead Space 2's shipments are 40 percent higher than those of the original Dead Space over a comparable period, the company said.

EA also revealed that its soccer sim FIFA 11 has shipped 12 million units life-to-date worldwide. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has shipped over 7 million, and Medal of Honor, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and Madden NFL 11 have shipped over 5 million each.

For fiscal 2012, the company is projecting revenue between $3.7 and $3.9 billion, with Q1 revenue projected at $910 to $950 million.

Pre-orders for Battlefield 3 -- due this holiday season, were up 700 percent from preorders of its predecessor in 2010, the company said.

The company also announced that it will ship four unannounced sports games (three for consoles, and one for both console and PC) in its fiscal 2012 Q4. It also revealed that Need for Speed: The Run will ship this Holiday season.

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