Keywords Studios acquires German voiceover specialist for €3.7m

Service provider says revenue rose almost 40 per cent to €153.2 million in first half

Keywords Studios chief executive Andrew Day. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Keywords Studios chief executive Andrew Day. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Dublin-based Keywords Studios has bought a German dubbing and voiceover provider for a total of €3.7 million, it said on Wednesday.

Keywords, which provides services to the video games industry, said it has agreed to acquire TV+SYNCHRON Berlin GMBH for €2.8 million in cash and the issue of €900,000 in new ordinary shares in Keywords. It is expected that the deal for the Berlin-based company, which is on track to generate revenue of €4.1 million this year, will be completed on October 1st.

Keywords also said revenue from the first half of this year rose almost 40 per cent to €153.2 million while adjusted profit before tax – taking into account an accounting rule change – rose 14.3 per cent to €18.4 million. Like-for-like revenue, stripping out the impact of acquisitions, rose 17.3 per cent.

During the period, the company acquired four new companies, in line with its strategy. Functional testing, a division which provides quality assurance in the game-creation process, accounts for 20 per cent of group revenue followed by game development (19 per cent) and its art creation and localisation divisions which both account for 15 per cent of group revenue.

Pipeline

In its outlook, Keywords said the company is seeing an “accelerating trend towards outsourcing”, a trend that will likely continue to improve its market share. Additionally, it said its acquisition pipeline is “very healthy” and the company is scoping out continued investment to expand its geographical and service offering. Net debt at the end of June stood at €9 million, a ratio to net cash of 4.4 per cent. The company agreed a €140 million revolving credit facility with Barclays, HSBC, Citibank and Silicon Valley Bank.

It is also pursuing organic expansion, increasing its staff capacity by 25 per cent with investment in studios in Montreal, Katowice, Manila, Brighton, Mexico City, Tokyo, Sao Paolo and New Delhi.

Keywords chief executive Andrew Day said the trading into the second half, which has “started well”, leaves the company “well placed to deliver revenues for the full year at the upper end of current market expectations with our profit expectations broadly unchanged”.

Goodbody analysts Patrick O’Donnell and Gary Hennigan said the results were “very solid” and “in line with expectations”. As for the acquisition, they said: “In our view, the latest acquisition underpins Keywords’ ability to play both sides of outsourcing, both in video gaming and on a broader basis in mainstream media proven by recent partnerships with Netflix for dubbing services.”

Established in 1998, Keywords now has more than 50 facilities in 21 countries and provides services including software engineering, testing and customer care services. It provides services to 23 of the top 25 game companies including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Sony and Ubisoft.