[HELSINKI] Finnish games company Rovio soared back to profit in 2016, lifted by its venture into the film industry and the release of The Angry Birds Movie, the company said.
The spin-off film from the company's popular Angry Birds mobile game series resulted in their multi-coloured birds and green pigs resurfacing with earnings before interest and taxes of 17.5 million euros (S$26.105 million) in 2016, the company said in a statement published late Tuesday.
A year earlier, it posted a 21.1-million euro loss.
Rovio's gross revenue grew by 34 per cent to 190.3 million euros in 2016, as the company's games regained popularity after the film release in May 2016.
The Angry Birds game, in which players use catapults to fire birds onto pigs who have stolen their eggs, was a worldwide smash hit after its release in 2009.
But it started losing its appeal in 2013.
Rovio's earnings then dropped for three consecutive years, falling into the red in 2015 and prompting the company to cut a third of its workforce the same year.
In an adventurous bid to save its flock, Rovio embarked on its first 3D feature film, partnering up with Japanese electronics giant Sony Entertainment for its distribution.
"The highlight of Rovio's animation division in 2016 was the global release of The Angry Birds Movie hitting nearly US$350 million at the worldwide box office," the company said.
Despite the film's success, Rovio's animation division made a loss of 2.2 million euros but the company said it would book most of the revenues related to the movie in 2017 and 2018.
Rovio also runs Angry Birds theme parks in several countries including Finland, China and Spain, and publishes children's books in dozens of languages.