UPDATE Peter Vesterbacka: “I never said Rovio did $ 3 billion in revenue”

11 Feb, 2013



UPDATE: according to Peter Vesterbacka, Marketwatch misreported what he said. 

If Angry Birds maker Rovio was somewhere on your list as one of the European companies ‘most likely to IPO’ in the next years, you can scratch it now. According to Marketwatch Peter Vesterbacka, CMO at Rovio, said at the launch event of an Angry Birds soft drink that the company is ‘insanely profitable’, and that there are no plans to IPO.

Marketwatch reports Vesterbacka as saying that Rovio had revenue of about $ 3 billion in the last three years. This would mean that the company did about $ 2.4 billion in revenue in 2012, says Marketwatch, because in 2010 Rovio reported revenu of $ 50 milion and in 2011 it reported $ 550 million.

Rovio is one of the consistently successful gaming companies, with more than a quarter of a billion active users, but it’s also aggressively branching out into toys, clothes, coffee, candy and the box office.

This is how Rovio’s revenue (as reported by Marketwatch) would look on a graph:

Rovio’s insane revenue hockeystick | Infographics

Rovio said repeatedly that it considered an IPO. In 2011, its CFO even said that it would list as much as $ 1 billion worth in shares. Apparently, Rovio’s organic growth made that unnecessary.

Update 1:

After this story was posted on HackerNews, Antti Villponen from Arctic Startup said in a comment that he doubts whether these figures are correct. He says at HackerNews:

I’d like to ask if Vesterbacka made any clearer statements on what “managing revenue” means. Their 2011 filing for the Finnish officials state they made about 75 million euros in revenue (far from the $500 million cited in the article).

Does this number represent the value of the merchandise sales of the company or was he explicitly referring to the revenue of Rovio itself?

Vilpponen pointed us to the official earnings reports as filed by Rovio in Finland, which show a turnover of € 75 million for 2011, with profits at € 35 million.  It’s still a hockeystick, but… a smaller hockeystick:

Another HackerNews reader adds an interesting perspective, though: these Finnish stats only reflect the numbers that Rovio declared in Finland – there might be a holding structure that is generating business and profits in other countries:

“Finnish accounts show only the financials of the individual P&L rather than the “consolidated Rovio group” P&L. Unless one is provided with an organisational and shareholding structure (with corresponding financials) it is impossible to know what is and isn’t accounted.”

UPDATE 2:

When we posted the first version of the story, we asked Peter Vesterbacka for comment. He has since replied that he “never talked about revenue at the event”:

 

We contacted the Marketwatch journalist for clarification. (Ongoing)

[via MarketwatchTotalTelecom][Photo: Official GDC, Flickr]

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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