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Keywords Studios levels up with acquisition of German dubbing specialist as first-half profits jump

Based in Berlin, TV+SYNCHRON counts Warner Bros, Amazon and Netflix among its previous clients

Keywords Studios PLC - Keywords Studios levels up with acquisition of German dubbing specialist as first-half profits jump

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has expanded its global empire with the acquisition of German dubbing specialist TV+SYNCHRON Berlin (TVS).

AIM 100-listed Keywords, which supplies technical services to the video game industry, said the €3.7mln purchase, to be paid with a mixture of cash and shares, would extend its range of audio services and almost double the scale of its German voice recording capabilities.

WATCH: Keywords Studios sees 'very strong first half growth' as demand accelerates

TVS would also provide direct access to what the company said was the “all-important” voice actor community in Berlin, seen by many as the heart of the German dubbing industry.

TVS works with clients such as HBO and Warner Brothers, and streaming giants Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN).

For the 12 months to 31 December, TVS is expected to generate revenues of around €4.1mln.

Giacomo Duranti, Keywords’ chief operating officer, said the two firms had already collaborated on several projects last year and that the acquisition would create a “market leading provider” of localisation services in the German video game industry.

Profits and revenue on the rise

In a separate announcement, Keywords reported that for the six months ended 30 June an adjusted pre-tax profit of €18.4mln, up 14.3% on the prior year, while like-for-like revenues at constant currency climbed 17.3% to €146.4mln.

Gross profit margins shrank to 36.1% from 37.4% year-on-year, which was attributed to rapid staff recruitment and a significant project brought on board by an acquisition.

The interim dividend, meanwhile, was hiked to 0.58p per share from 0.53p.

Looking ahead, Keywords said trading in the second half had “started well” with stronger margins expected for the period, although organic revenue growth would be “slightly slower” than the first six months.

Chief executive Andrew Day said the group was  well placed to deliver full-year revenues “at the upper end of market expectations”, while profit forecasts were broadly unchanged.

He added that the firm was also reviewing several “attractive” acquisition opportunities to extend its service offering and capacity.

In early trading on Wednesday, Keywords’ shares were 4% lower at 1,359.7p.

Quick facts: Keywords Studios PLC

Price: 1896 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £1.39 billion

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