Keywords Studios agrees €140m credit facility, posts rise in revenues

Video gaming company reports a 17% rise in first-half group revenues to €146m

Keywords Studios chief executive Andrew Day. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

Keywords Studios chief executive Andrew Day. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

 

Keywords Studios, the Irish-headquartered but London-listed video gaming company has agreed terms for a €140 million revolving credit facility.

The news comes as it reported a 17.3 per cent rise in first-half group revenues to €146.4 million from €124.8 million a year earlier.

Keywords, which provides a large range of services to the video games industry, said all seven of its service lines saw grew in the first six months with growth ranging from 5 per cent to 33 per cent.

Its functional testing and game development (formerly engineering) service lines, which are now the largest and second largest of its various businesses, recorded particularly strong revenue growth of 20 per cent and 19 percent respectively.

Adjusted profits before tax is expected to increase by 15 per cent to approximately €18.4 million.

Acquisitions

Keywords said it made four acquisitions in the reporting period that are integrating well. It added it expects further deals as the year progresses.

Cash invested in acquisitions to date this year totalled €7 million. Net debt at the end of June totalled €9 million.

“We were pleased by the strong performance of the group in the first half, incorporating as it does the anticipated lower growth VMC business acquired in October 2017. Particularly steep increases in activity of some of our service lines in the first half required us to invest rapidly in expanding capacity to meet that demand. As we move into the second half, we expect to be able to leverage that investment to the benefit of margins in the second half,” said chief executive Andrew Day.

The group said the new credit facility is being provided by Barclays Bank, Citibank, HSBC and Silicon Valley Bank for an initial €100 million over a three-year term, with the option to extend the facility up to €140 million and by a further two years. It replaces the existing €105 million facility the group has, on the same terms.

“We continue to review a healthy pipeline of acquisition candidates in line with our strategy to build our business both organically and through acquisition. The new, enlarged banking facility will give us the flexibility and headroom to deliver that strategy and further enhance shareholder value,” said Mr Day.

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.