Codemasters Group Holdings Plc (AIM:CDM), the award-winning British video game developer and publisher specialising in high-quality racing games, is pleased to provide the following trading update for the six months ended 30 September 2020 ("H1 2021").
Following its update on 11 August 2020, the Board is pleased to confirm that trading remained strong throughout the first half of the year. The Company expects to report revenue of approximately £80.5 million for the six-month period versus £39.8 million for the same period last year ('H1 2020'), and Adjusted EBITDA¹ of circa £21 million (H1 2020: £9.4 million). Digital sales as a proportion of revenue continue to increase, representing 73% of total sales in the period (H1 2020: 61.7%) as COVID-19 impacted the sales mix and accelerated the shift to digital delivery, resulting in an improved gross margin of 92.9% (H1 2020: 89.3%). The Company has no debt and as at 30 September 2020 had net cash of £49.8 million (H1 2020: £24.6 million).
Trading in H1 2021 benefitted from the launch of F1® 2020, Fast & Furious Crossroads, Project CARS 3, and continued sales of the Company's back catalogue of games - in particular F1® 2019 and DiRT Rally 2.0.
F1® 2020 was released on 10 July 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. The franchise has materially over-performed versus the previous year. The superior quality of the game and the growth of the sport, especially in the United States, continue to attract new players. The Company anticipates that F1® 2020 will continue to perform strongly throughout the Black Friday, Christmas and New Year promotional periods.
H1 2021 also saw the release of the first two titles developed by Slightly Mad Studios since the Company acquired the studio in November 2019. Fast & Furious Crossroads and Project CARS 3 were launched on 7 August 2020 and 28 August 2020 respectively. Both titles were published by Bandai Namco Entertainment on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC and revenues from these titles in H1 2021 were in line with the Company's expectations.
As anticipated, the performance of the Company's back catalogue continues to be strong thanks to the accelerated growth of the digital business reflecting the longer lifecycle of high-quality products and well-established IP, together with the ever-increasing number of digital channels for exploitation. The Board expects digital growth to continue with future releases.
The upcoming release of DIRT 5 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on 6 November 2020 has been scheduled to allow the Company to release all game formats in a shorter timeframe, with versions for the next generation of consoles (Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5) launching from 10 November 2020. A Google Stadia version will also launch later in H2 2021.
On mobile platforms, F1® Mobile Racing continues to grow with its 14th update, while the Company looks forward to releasing Project CARS GO in H2 2021. The commercial partnership with Netease to bring a new mobile IP to market in the financial year 2022 continues to progress well.
The Company expects to publish its results for the six months ended 30 September 2020 on 23 November 2020.