Codemasters(R) Achieves 38% Annual Growth Worldwide With 151% Increase in US Net Sales



    LONDON, Nov. 19 /CNW/ -

    
    Highlights:

    -   Group sales up a record 38%, led by growth in North America

    -   Strong improvement in operating profits and cash flow

    -   332% growth in U.S. video game software dollar sales(1)

    -   Worldwide hits with Colin McRae: DiRT(TM) and Overlord(TM)

    -   Continued expansion driven by strong pipeline of new original
        properties

    -   Proprietary game engine delivers improved development efficiency

    -   Codemasters named 2007 UK Developer of the Year
    

    The Codemasters Software Company Limited ("Codemasters"), developer and
publisher of award-winning interactive entertainment software, has today
reported the results from the most successful period in its 22-year history.
    In the 12 months to June 30, 2007, the group increased sales by 38% to
GBP71.5m (US$149m). One driving force in the company's performance was a 332%
increase in dollar sales of video game software in the US retail channel,
according to The NPD Group in the same period. NPD charts Codemasters as one
of the top five fastest growing video game companies in the US.
    With hit titles such as Colin McRae: Dirt(TM) and Overlord(TM),
Codemasters achieved a five-fold increase in operating profits to GBP5.6m
(US$11.6m) (2006: GBP1.1m/US$2.3m). Net cash-flow from operating activities
improved by 33%, to GBP9.0m (US$18.7m).

    US Success Drives Growth

    In North America, net sales grew by 151% year on year to GBP17.1m,
fuelled by a strong performance in the US. Software sales in the US, bolstered
by expanded distribution and a high percentage of full-price sales,
contributed more than 20% to overall group sales.
    The results stem from improvements in sales, marketing and distribution
established during the past two years. In December 2006, the company signed
distribution agreement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, which has
enabled Codemasters to achieve record sales in the US. In 2007, Codemasters
further demonstrated its commitment to the US market by appointing a
management team of accomplished industry veterans based in Los Angeles.
    Rod Cousens, chief executive of Codemasters, said:
    "The company has never been in a better position to innovate and grow.
Codemasters has the right team and the right technology to compete on a global
scale in the interactive entertainment industry. Our results demonstrate that
Codemasters is firing on all cylinders."

    Innovative Games and Worldwide Strength

    In the 2007 fiscal year, Codemasters hit the Top 40 charts with seven
games in the U.K. and earned three spots in the US Top 20 listings. The
creativity of Codemasters Studios was recognised last month when it was named
as UK Developer of the Year at the 25th Golden Joystick Awards.
    Building on its legacy of quality product, Codemasters invested GBP40.5m
(US$84.3m) in game design and development, an increase of over 150% over the
previous year. The company is committed to creating innovative games, not just
on the existing console, PC and portable platforms, but for emerging segments
of the market, including the casual and mobile spaces.
    On its release in June 2007, Colin McRae: DiRT topped the US best-seller
charts for titles on the Xbox 360(R) video game and entertainment system from
Microsoft(R), and has sold more than one million copies to date. Overlord, a
new action adventure game, also reached the top 10 charts in the US, the UK,
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
    Brian Lara International Cricket(TM) 2007 continued its reign as the
world's number one selling cricket game, assisted by the ICC Cricket World
Cup. This latest version of the million-selling franchise was the first to
allow players to participate in multi-player online tournaments through
Xbox LIVE(R). A version of the game was also developed for mobile handsets in
partnership with Glu Mobile Inc.
    In April, Codemasters launched The Lord of the Rings Online(TM): Shadows
of Angmar(TM) in Europe, which has become one of the most successful massively
multi-player online games (MMOGs) seen to-date.
    Codemasters recently signed a licensing agreement with The Templar
Company to create original video games for the Nintendo DS(TM) and Wii(TM).
These will be based on Templar's 14-million selling series of Dragonology(TM),
Wizardology(TM) and Pirateology(TM) books.
    Codemasters will shortly launch Dirty Dancing(R) game, based on the
Hollywood film, and one of the company's first products to address the casual
gaming market.

    Forward-Looking Technology Infrastructure

    Codemasters has built a portfolio of technology designed to maximize its
investments in developing games for the most popular platforms and scale its
business in emerging interactive entertainment categories.

    Proprietary Game Technology Engine:

    The highly-acclaimed Colin McRae: DiRT title first showcased Codemasters'
proprietary technology engine, introduced as 'Neon'. The engine is a highly
versatile middleware technology that can be used to develop games for all
genres and platforms. Its advanced graphics and physics technology brings an
unmatched cinematic quality and realism to interactive entertainment. The
engine is being deployed in the development of Operation Flashpoint(TM)2:
Dragon Rising, a military action title, and a new Race Driver(TM) game in the
best-selling Codemasters flagship racing series. Further details and the new
tech branding for the engine is to be announced.

    Online Games Technology:

    Codemasters has invested in server, network management and customer
service capabilities to deliver highly reliable, engaging online gaming
experiences. The company has also created Code M, an online community hub,
which boasts over 1.7m subscribers from all over the world.

    Funsta.com Casual Online Games

    The company continues to grow its Funsta.com online gaming portal. With
more than 1,000 games available for people of all ages, Funsta.com is a
website that offers a wide range of games that can either be played on the web
or downloaded to a PC.

    Looking Forward

    The recent investment in the business, made possible by the backing that
Codemasters received from Balderton Capital and Goldman Sachs earlier this
year, has created a strong release schedule that will underpin further
progress in the current financial year.
    Since the end of the fiscal year, the company has launched Clive Barker's
Jericho(TM), a game created in partnership with the legendary horror writer
and film maker. In the coming months, Jericho will be followed by the launches
of Turning Point(TM): Fall of Liberty, a first-person-shooter game set in an
alternate history that sees New York City invaded by Nazi forces; HEI$T(TM), a
bank robbery game set in San Francisco circa 1969; Rise of the Argonauts(TM),
a gladiatorial adventure set in ancient Greece; and a new Race Driver title.
Other games are also in development and will be announced in due course.

    Press Resource Web Site

    Download game artwork, screens and essential Codemasters' press materials
direct to your desktop from: http://www.codemasters.com/mediabank.

    About Codemasters

    Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of best-selling
interactive entertainment products for a global audience across multiple
gaming platforms and channels. Established in 1986, the company's dominant
brands include Colin McRae DiRT, Overlord, Clive Barker's Jericho, Race
Driver, Brian Lara Cricket and Operation Flashpoint. Codemasters is
headquartered in Warwickshire UK, with North American operations based in
Burbank, Calif. The company also maintains operations in Germany, France,
Spain, and Benelux. Codemasters receives over two million visitors to its web
site every month, discover why at http://www.codemasters.com.

    Codemasters is a registered trademark owned by The Codemasters Software
    Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective
    owners. Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox LIVE are trademarks of the Microsoft
    group of companies. "Wii" and "DS" are registered trademarks of Nintendo.


    ---------------------------------
    (1) Data supplied by The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service





For further information:

For further information: Powerscourt, Paul Durman/Claire Melly,
+44-20-7250-1446, paul.durman@powerscourtmedia.com; Double Forte, Elizabeth
Olson, (415) 848-8116, Eolson@double-forte.com

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