Perfect World targets acquisitions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 August, 2010, 12:00am

Perfect World, one of the mainland's top online gaming operators, is looking for acquisitions to improve its development of games, and greater opportunities in domestic television and movie productions.

'Acquiring companies that are complementary to our core business remains a large part of our growth strategy,' said chairman and chief executive Michael Chi Yufeng yesterday after reporting a 25 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit to 196.6 million yuan (HK$224.24 million), from 262.6 million yuan a year earlier due to higher operating expenses and lower margins.

The Nasdaq-listed internet company had a turnover of 594.2 million yuan, up 14 per cent from 521.3 million yuan on the previous year. The aggregate average of concurrent users on its domestic online games reached 886,000 in the second quarter, down from the 993,000 in the previous three months.

That decline was mainly due to an underperforming new game and more stringent anti-cheating efforts adopted by the firm.

'The second-quarter results largely came in line with our expectations,' Chi said, adding that the dip in net profit was a 'temporary fluctuation' in between new product launches.

Chi said Perfect World was looking to invest more in research and development, eyeing new acquisitions that can help it deliver more innovative games on the mainland and Western markets.

The firm recently purchased a majority stake in US developer Runic Games. 'Our North American operations are also seeing healthy growth,' he said.

He added that the firm would also launch games in Europe in the near future.

Within the next few months, Perfect World expected to acquire, via subsidiary Beijing Perfect World Cultural Communication, a controlling stake in film and television production outfits Beijing Xinbaoyuan Movie & TV Investment and Shanghai Baohong Entertainment & Media.

Chi said Perfect World's involvement in the country's broader entertainment industry 'will lead to future benefits to our core business through content generation and co-promotion'.