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Wednesday, 24 November, 1999, 11:29 GMT
Losses double at Eidos
lara croft

Computer games company Eidos, best known for its Tomb Raider games featuring Lara Croft, has reported a doubling of pre-tax losses to 37.9m in the first six months of the financial year.

Results for six months to 30 September
Turnover 44.1m (47.6m)
Pre-tax loss 37.9m (18.9m)
Loss per share 146.2p (80.6p)
Figures for comparative period last year in brackets
But the company is upbeat about Christmas, given the launch next week of the new Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, which comes out on Wednesday in the US and next week in Europe.

Chief executive Charles Cornwall said it was the company's "most impressive winter release schedule ever".

This should help compensate for the first year figures.

These figures were in line with analysts' forecasts as the first half of the year is a seasonally weak selling period and the release dates of some games were delayed.

Mr Cornwall confirmed this. He said the results reflected the "relatively fewer new releases in the period coupled with increased levels of development and corporate activity."

Mr Cornwall said five new titles were released during the first half, compared with seven in the previous corresponding half year.

One, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, has been particularly successful, selling in excess of a million units since its launch and is developing into a key franchise, he said.

Share split proposal

The company plans to split its shares on a basis of five for one from 26 January. The shares are currently worth just under 50 each.

This is expected to bring the price of Eidos shares more in line with the market and improve their marketability.

The company said the last six months had been dominated by a number of strategic investments.

Last month it bought 20% of US based internet company Maximum Holdings and it has recently agreed a deal with Disney to use three of its characters in games to be released next year.

Meanwhile computer games retailer Electronics Boutique became the latest high street chain to warn of a profits fall because of growing price competition.

The main pressure had come from discounting on games for the Sony PlayStation games console.

Instead of their usual price of between 34.99 and 44.99, a number of key titles have been recently released at 29.99.

Sales of individual games were up about 25% on last year but margins were falling in advance of the crucial Christmas period.

PlayStation games make up about 30% of total sales from the retailer's 290 stores in the UK and Ireland.

New Game and Electronics Boutique internet sites featuring on-line sales, would be launched on 1 December.

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See also:
03 Sep 99 |  The Company File
Lara Croft can't save Eidos's profits

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