20 December 2021
Keywords Studios plc ("Keywords Studios", "the Group")
Full year performance now expected to be ahead of market expectations
Keywords Studios, the international technical and creative services provider to the global video games industry, today provides a trading update for the year ending 31 December 2021.
The Group has continued to perform well in the second half of the year following the strong performance in H1, with demand for our services driven by the buoyant video games market and the industry's focus on new content creation. We have continued to benefit from a reduction in certain costs due to COVID-19, primarily relating to remote working, property costs, travel and business development.
As a result, the Board now expects that full year revenue for 2021 will be at least €505m (+35% year-on-year growth) and adjusted profit before tax1 in excess of €85m (+55% year-on-year growth) both ahead of current analysts' consensus forecasts2.
Outlook for 2022
We expect this trading momentum to continue into 2022, giving us confidence in delivering 2022 revenue at the upper end of current analysts' consensus forecasts3, while we continue to expect adjusted profit before tax margins to moderate towards our historical levels of ~15%, as certain costs return with the easing of restrictions and as we continue to invest in the platform and our people.
The Group will provide a further update with its scheduled trading update at the end of January 2022.
Bertrand Bodson, Chief Executive Officer of Keywords Studios, commented:
"Keywords continues to perform strongly, driven by high levels of demand for our services, as we grow our capabilities, reach and scale.
"Having started to meet with many of our people, studios and customers, I am excited about the opportunity to capitalise on the Group's unique full service platform to deliver an ever more compelling proposition for the buoyant video games market, and adjacent content industries. I have been impressed by the ambitious team at Keywords, which is highly driven to continue to build on the Group's successful organic and acquisitive growth track record."
1 Adjusted profit before tax comprises Profit before taxation as reported in the Consolidated statement of comprehensive income, adjusted for share option expense, costs of acquisition and integration, amortisation and impairment of intangible assets, non-controlling interest, foreign exchange gains and losses, and unwinding of discounted liabilities. In order to present the measure consistently year-on-year, the impact of COVID-19 government subsidies claimed in the prior year and investment income are also excluded.
2 As at 17th December 2021, company compiled analysts' forecasts gave a consensus for FY 2021 of €500m of revenue (range: €486-508m) and €79m of adjusted profit before tax (range: €76-81m).
3 As at 17th December 2021, company compiled analysts' forecasts gave a consensus for FY 2022 of €569m of revenue (range: €552-581m) and €86m of adjusted profit before tax (range: €83-90m).
For further information, please contact:
Keywords Studios (www.keywordsstudios.com)
Bertrand Bodson, Chief Executive Officer
Jon Hauck, Chief Financial Officer
Joseph Quinn, Investor Relations
+353 190 22 730
Stuart Skinner/Kevin Cruickshank/Will Baunton
+44 20 7260 1000
MHP Communications (Financial PR)
Katie Hunt/Charles Hirst
+44 20 3128 8193
About Keywords Studios (www.keywordsstudios.com)
Keywords Studios is an international technical services provider to the global video games industry. Established in 1998, and now with over 70 facilities in 23 countries strategically located in Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe, it provides integrated art creation, marketing services, game development, testing, localization, audio and player support services across more than 50 languages and 16 games platforms to a blue-chip client base of over 950 clients across the globe.
Keywords Studios has a strong market position, providing services to 23 of the top 25 most prominent games companies. Across the games and entertainment industry, clients include Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Konami, Microsoft, Netflix, Riot Games, Square Enix, Supercell, TakeTwo, Tencent and Ubisoft. Recent titles worked on include Anthem, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Valorant, League of Legends, Fortnite, Clash Royale and Doom Eternal. Keywords Studios is listed on AIM, the London Stock Exchange regulated market (KWS.L).