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In 2023, Thunderful incurred a loss of $59 million following a 574% decline in Q4 profit

In 2023, Thunderful, the maker of Lego Bricktales, faced significant financial challenges, reporting a net loss of SEK 609.4 million ($59.2 million) for the year. This loss was compounded by a staggering 574% decrease in operating profit during the fourth quarter alone.

As a result of the tough year, Thunderful initiated a new restructuring program, a trend increasingly common in the games industry. This restructuring includes plans to lay off 20% of its workforce in the first half of 2024 as a cost-cutting measure, with the financial impacts expected to be felt in the second half of the year.

The company's key performance indicators for 2023 were predominantly negative, with declines seen in revenue, profit, adjusted EBITDA, and earnings per share. Earnings per share plummeted by 604.1%, dropping from SEK 1.72 ($0.17) in the 2022 fiscal year to SEK -8.67 (-$0.84) in 2023.

While net revenue experienced a relatively modest decline of 4.6%, from SEK 2.95 billion ($286 million) to SEK 2.82 billion ($274 million), Thunderful's expenses significantly impacted its profits, plunging from SEK 121.2 million ($11.8 million) in 2022 to SEK -609.4 million (-$59 million) in 2023, resulting in a deficit.

Adjusted EBITDA also fell by 35.6%, dropping from SEK 375.6 million ($36.5 million) to SEK 241.9 million ($23.5 million). However, Thunderful's subsidiary Bergsala, a Swedish distributor of Nintendo games, managed to achieve success with new title launches in the Mario and Zelda franchises, leading to increased sales in 2023.

Despite Bergsala's positive contribution, it was not sufficient to offset Thunderful's significant profit decline. The company's decision to implement layoffs reflects the challenging times it faces, with approximately 100 employees expected to lose their jobs in the first half of the year.

Thunderful CEO Martin Walfisz acknowledged the difficulties faced by the company, particularly in the games segment, while also highlighting positive results in distribution. He emphasized the importance of the restructuring program in strengthening the company's financial position for the future.

Mass layoffs, such as those announced by Thunderful, have unfortunately become commonplace in the games industry, with global gaming companies like Gameloft also recently affected by similar measures.

Source: adapted from an article by Aaron Astle, News Editor for

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