Keywords Studios says 2022 performance will beat expectations

Video games services group says it expects revenue to be €690m for year, up from previous guidance of €675m

Video games services provider Keywords Studios said performance would be ahead of previous guidance as momentum continued in the second half of the year.

The company said it expected revenue to be €690 million for the year, ahead of previous guidance of €675 million and compared with €512 million a year earlier. Adjusted profit before tax will be marginally ahead of forecasts at €112 million, versus the €110 million predicted a few months ago. Organic revenue is expected to grow at about 22 per cent in the second half of the year.

Keywords published the figures in a trading update for the year ended December 31st, 2022, ahead its full-year results due to be published on March 15th.

It said the strong performance during the year reflected high levels of demand for its services. The group also benefited from the strength of the US dollar, partially offset by the return of travel and administrative expenses in the second half of the year.


At the end of December, the group had net cash of €80 million, down from more than €121 million at the halfway point of the year and €105.6 million at the end of December 2021. Cash spend on acquisitions during the year was €118 million, including €26 million of deferred consideration in respect of prior year acquisitions.

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The year saw Keywords complete five acquisitions spread throughout the US, Australia, Canada and Italy, including game development studios Forgotten Empires, Smoking Gun and Mighty Games. Keywords has invested a total of €140 million in the purchases, when deferred considerations are taken into account.

“We delivered an excellent performance in 2022, demonstrating the strength of the platform we have and the dedication and hard work of the 12,000 people within Keywords. Whilst we are mindful of some headwinds currently facing the industry, our business model, highly diversified client base and geographical reach means that we are less exposed to the ‘hit or miss’ risk from individual games and more insulated from changes to the development cycle of new releases,” said Bertrand Bodson, chief executive of Keywords Studios. “We are increasingly well positioned to support our clients in generating engaging content for their leading franchises and believe that we will see robust demand for content generation as our clients seek to capture the imagination of the 3 billion gamers globally.”

Looking ahead to 2023, the company said its expectations for the year remained consistent with its November guidance, and it was confident of delivering a performance towards the upper end of the raised analysts’ consensus range.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist