QA firm Keywords beats revenue projections after IPO

QA firm Keywords beats revenue projections after IPO
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

April 9th 2014 at 2:05PM

CEO Andrew Day confident of a strong 2014 moving as new consoles take hold

QA firm Keywords Studios has beat its financial projections for the year following its decision to go public last July.

The company, listed on the London AIM, increased revenue by 14 per cent to €16.4m for the year ending December 31st 2013. The firm also reported profits of €2.5m, slightly down from the year prior.

Financial projections had previously been lowered after the firm claimed publishers were holding back games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 as they prepared to the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One.

Despite this though the firm picked up a number of new clients in 2013 including Blizzard, Supercell, King, Disney and Kixeye.

Since the end of last year, Keywords has worked on expanding its operations through the acquisitions of games voice production services company Liquid Violet and another QA firm, Babel Media.

Speaking to Develop, Keywords CEO Andrew Day admitted there had been some uncertainty around new console platforms following its decision to go public, but was confident of a stronger 2014.

"In the end the year turned out as we had expected it too although initially we were a bit unsettled by the launch of the new consoles," said Day.

"We expected them to turn up a little earlier in the year than they ended up doing. Along with others in the industry we saw various games being pushed back and we were slightly surprised by Microsoft's decision not to launch in all territories simultaneously."

He added: "We're hopeful for continued strong organic growth and that's definitely a continuing feature of our business. Every indication we see in talking to clients and listening to the market place in general points to 2014 being a good year, and we fully expect to capitalise on that both in terms of just growing with the market but also continuing to gain market share.

"In addition to that we've made some acquisitions at the beginning of this year, with Liquid Violet and Babel, and we'll making other acquisitions during the course of the year. So we expect to emerge in even stronger shape at the end of 2014."

Day went on to say he expected companies to continue outsourcing QA work even more moving into the new generation of consoles, and questioned why publishers would want there own large in-house testing operations.

"I think it's strange if a publisher wants to have 300 QA staff on their headcount," he said.

"In my mind it doesn't make sense. If you've got a credible alternative, it definitely makes sense to outsource and convert what is otherwise a fixed cost into a variable cost."