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24 Mar 2021 | 09:15

Keywords Studios FY profits surge amid pandemic-fuelled industry boom

(Sharecast News) - Video game industry services company Keywords Studios said on Wednesday that profits had surged in 2020 on the back of an industry boom amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Keywords posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of €55.0m for the year ended 31 December, up 34.5% year-on-year, while annual revenues shot up 14.4% to €373.5m as the industry-wide boom led to an increased demand for the company's services. Adjusted underlying earnings were up 28.8% at €74.2m.

The AIM-listed group also swing from a net debt position of €17.9m at the end of 2019 to having a net cash balance of €102.9m at the start of 2021.

However, despite the solid performance, Keywords opted not to declare a dividend for 2020 but said it intends to resume its progressive dividend policy at the end of the current year.

As far as the current year was concerned, Keywords said first-quarter trading had "started well", with momentum from the tail end of 2020 continuing into 2021 despite Covid-19-related impacts, with the firm also noting heightened demand across its service lines following the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox XS Series consoles.

Joint interim chief executive Jon Hauck said: "As we enter 2021, we are very confident in the group's opportunity for growth due to the continued trend towards outsourcing and an increased focus on content creation in a growing video games market. This combined with our ability to increase our market share and to selectively acquire high-quality businesses will allow us to further cement our position as the 'go-to' provider of technical and creative services to a global client base."

As of 0915 GMT, Keywords shares were up 3.82% at 2,497.98p.
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