Keywords Studios Upgrades 2020 Forecast Despite Covid Impact

Game Localization Company Keywords Studios Upgrades 2020 Forecast

On November 24, 2020, Keywords Studios announced that it sees revenues for the 12 months to December 31, 2020 to come in at EUR 367m (USD 435m) up 12% from EUR 326.5m in 2019. According to the company, this reflects the strong demand for Keywords’ services despite what CEO Andrew Day described as “production constraints” related to the pandemic.

The UK-listed, Ireland-headquartered game services provider added that it expects full-year adjusted profit before tax (excluding government subsidies claimed due to Covid) to be approximately EUR 52m (2019: EUR 40.9m), ahead of the current forecast of EUR 46m.

The company attributed this to “operational leverage and good cost control, […] a reduction in certain costs due to Covid-19, such as travel,” as well as “continued strong trading” since it issued half-year results in September 2020. At the time, Day said game producers continued to create content throughout Covid unlike film, which had to stop.

In a recent SlatorPod episode (#47), Marie Amigues, CEO of game localizer Altagram, also noted that they did record sales in 2020, making in one month what they would have in a whole year during the company’s early days. (Altagram was founded in 2013 and now has hubs in Berlin, Montreal, and Korea.)

Amigues also told Slator that, despite the game localization juggernaut that is Keywords, they were able to find a niche among gaming companies that prefer to work with relatively smaller game localizers, such as Altagram. That there is plenty of business for everyone, even during a pandemic, proves the resilience of the game localization space.

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Shares in Keywords took a slight dip on the day of the update, down 2.7% as of this writing, but still up by about 36% year to date. Market cap stood at GBP 1.6bn (USD 2.15bn) at press time. (SlatorPro subscribers can check Slator’s Real-Time Charts of Listed LSPs for the up-to-the-minute market performance of Keywords and other listed LSPs.)

Keywords will provide another trading update in late January 2021 and full-year results in March 2021.