Sumo Group trading in line as its continues to expand
Sumo Group updated the market on its trading on Thursday, reporting that the global video games market remained “strong”, and that it was performing in line with its expectations for the year-to-date.
The AIM-traded firm, which was holding its annual general meeting, said all of its divisions were trading “well”, with the board “encouraged” by the early progress achieved at Secret Mode, which was reviewing a considerable number of internally- and externally-sourced titles.
It said that overall, the pipeline of new business development opportunities now comprised a total contract value of more than £500m, making for a “significant increase” on the £429m figure as at 28 February.
“Our own-intellectual property title shared with Focus Home Interactive, Hood, which is a dark re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend developed in our Sumo Digital Newcastle studio and published by Focus Home Interactive, launched in May this year,” the board noted.
“We are pleased with the reception the game has received since launch and we are now delivering the post launch plan including new content.”
Suimo noted Little Orpheus, developed by the Chinese Room, was awarded the Apple Design Award for ‘delight and fun’ for its platforming, storytelling, music and for bringing console-like experience to an accessible game.
It noted that Pipeworks would shortly open a new studio in Vancouver, and had recruited Joe Nickolls, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and was most recently vice-president and general manager at Electronic Arts’ Maxis studio.
Vancouver would be the group's 14th studio.
Looking at its people, Sumo said recruitment underpinned its plans for growth and, while that remained challenging, it had increased total headcount to 1,155 as at 31 May, from 1,043 on 31 December.
Of that total, which includes 13 developers who joined with the acquisition of PixelAnt Games on 31 January, 951 are direct.
The board said the acquisition pipeline remained “strong”, with the firm pursuing a number of targets.
It said the “strong” underlying market growth trends were continuing “unabated”, meaning its pipeline of opportunities was continuing to grow.
As at 31 May, the company had net cash of £8.0m, up from £6.8m on 31 December, following some earlier-than-forecast receipts.
On 31 March, the firm spent £5.5m funding the purchase of around 1.54 million Sumo Group shares through the employee benefit trust, following the exercise of options under its long-term incentive plan.
Those shares would be held on the terms of the trust, to satisfy the vesting of options under the incentive plan in the future.
“We are very pleased with the progress that the group is making,” the board said.
“Trading in the year-to-date is in line with expectations, and the group is well-positioned to continue to take advantage of the strong growth in the global video games market.
“The board views the prospects for the group in the year ahead and beyond with confidence.”
At 0935 BST, shares in Sumo Group were down 5.16% at 366.57p.