Rovio reports Angry Birds games growth again

FILE PHOTO: Angry Birds game characters are seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo, Finland March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Anne Kauranen

(Reuters) - Finnish game maker Rovio, best known for its Angry Birds franchise, on Friday reported a rise in its fourth-quarter operating profit, boosted by growth from its top three games.

"All our top three games Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Dream Blast and Angry Birds Friends grew year-on-year," the Helsinki-based mobile game maker said.

Rovio said it expects strong top line growth for the year but its adjusted operating profit to decrease year-on-year due to investments in new games development and marketing.

Rovio is seeking growth from diversifying its portfolio, having acquired Turkish Ruby Games in August and by partnering up to create new mobile games for Moomins, cartoon characters originally popular from a series of books and a comic strip.

"We continue our M&A efforts, aiming to build new growth avenues within casual games, grow our audience network, and establish value through synergies across our game portfolio and studios," Rovio Chief Executive Alex Pelletier-Normand said in a statement.

Rovio reported underlying operating profit of 13.1 million euros ($14.90 million) for the October-December quarter, up around 75% from a year earlier.

Rovio's board proposed a dividend of 0.12 euros per share.

($1 = 0.8793 euros)

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)

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