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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Eidos losses double
Gun totting Lara Croft
Lara could face a challenge from Tarrant for top spot
The extraordinary powers of Lara Croft failed to prevent UK computer games maker, Eidos, doubling its losses for the year to March to 21m.

The worsening performance reflected an industry-wide downturn, as consumers waited for new consoles such as the Sony Playstation 2 to hit the market, the company said.

But the losses were stemmed by the new "Who wants to be a Millionaire" title which has become one of the best selling games in UK history.

Eidos will release 20 titles this year, but there will not be a new version of its popular Tomb Raider series with Lara Croft despite the release of the film.

"The Tomb Raider film is due for release by Paramount in June in the US and July in the UK and we expect this will build further awareness of the franchise in the mass market," said Eidos chief executive Michael McGarvey.

Eidos' full year results showed an loss before interest, tax, write-downs and exceptional items of 20.9m, versus a loss of 9.7m the previous year.

The company expects to return to profit in the current financial year.

Rights issue

Eidos also confirmed it will be launching a 51.7m ($73m) rights issue of new shares.

"The successful completion of this rights issue will allow Eidos to optimise its performance during the anticipated upturn in our industry's business cycle as the installed base of the next generation platforms grows to achieve significant mass," Mr McGarvey said in a statement.

Industry experts expect a strong growth phase to kick off in the fourth quarter of this year.

Shares in Eidos have fallen steadily following a succession of product delays, and after the failure of a widely-touted takeover bid from French video games publisher Infogrames Entertainment.

Shares in Eidos, which have outperformed a falling FTSE All Share index by 36% this year, were down about 2% at 273p in early trade.

The stock is a long way off highs hit in the glory days of the high-tech boom when it fetched more than 13.

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See also:

29 May 01 | Business
Eidos cash call hits share price
28 May 01 | Business
Eidos 'seeks 50m from shareholders'
28 Feb 01 | Business
Lara firm's shares plunge again
25 Jan 01 | Business
Playstation woes hit Sony profits
24 Jan 01 | Business
Sega considers axing Dreamcast
28 Nov 00 | Business
Eidos losses grow
20 Jun 00 | Business
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