Copyright 2006 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ March 31st 2006 ]

SCi Entertainmant Group has reported a pre-tax loss of 20.1m for the six months ended 31 December 2005 compared with a profit of 3.9m the year before. Sales rose to 50.1m from 17.9 the year before.

"In the first half of the financial year the Group had revenue of 42.9 million under UK GAAP, which was substantially ahead of our internal plans. This higher than expected revenue arose primarily through the distribution of Lego Star Wars.

"The success of Lego Star Wars, which has now sold over 3.3 million units since its launch in April 2005, illustrates the strength of the games market for strong products. We are continuing our relationship with the developers of Lego Star Wars by co-publishing Lego Bionicle during the 2007 financial year.

"The Group's new releases in the first half were Total Overdose, Conflict: Global Storm and a PSP version of Championship Manager. Sales of Championship Manager on PSP, released in December 2005, were particularly strong. This reflects the continuing popularity and strength of the brand.

"Whilst first half revenues were greater than expected, the majority of this arose from distribution revenue which has lower margins than self published products. Accordingly, the loss for the period remains in line with our plans. This means that we remain firmly on track to achieve our full year profit target.

"During the second half of the financial year the Group plans to release new versions of two of its biggest franchises, Tomb Raider Legend and Hitman: Blood Money. In addition we have five further full price releases as well as expected strong revenues from six new releases for mobile phones from our New Media division.

"Tomb Raider Legend will be released on 7 April 2006 in Europe and on 11 April 2006 in North America. Lara Croft is arguably the most well known character in video games history, and the Tomb Raider series is certainly one of the most successful, selling over 28 million units and giving rise to two successful Hollywood films.

"Tomb Raider Legend is the first version in the Tomb Raider series to be developed by the Group's Crystal Dynamics Studio in the United States. The game, which is based on a completely redesigned engine, has attracted very strong reviews and has been featured on the front covers of over 100 magazines worldwide over the past months.

"The product will be launched with a worldwide TV advertising campaign and extensive outdoor advertising. As well as being available on Playstation 2, Xbox and PC, Tomb Raider Legend will be simultaneously launched on the Microsoft Xbox 360 and, in May 2006, will be available on the Sony PSP.

"With further versions available on mobile as well as the Nintendo DS, GBA and Gamecube platforms later in the summer, this will be the first time that a Tomb Raider product has been available to customers on so many key platforms.

Commenting on these results, Jane Cavanagh, Chief Executive of SCi said; "Our plans for the full year remain well on track. Following SCi's acquisition of Eidos in May 2005 we have integrated the two groups, achieved target cost savings and rebuilt the strength of key Eidos franchises.

"We are confident that the launch of eagerly awaited titles such as Tomb Raider Legend and Hitman: Blood Money provides a firm base to our profitability for the full 2006 financial year. "

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