COMPUTER GAMES INDUSTRY STORMS AHEAD ON SALES OF €250M - The computer games industry enjoyed sales of almost €250m last year, reports The Irish Examiner. A report by industry specialist Jamie McCormick shows that games sales have dropped in physical retailers compared to 2011, but sales made online saw a 34% increase to €83m. The newspaper reports that McCormick hopes to use industry data to create a biannual report that will help Government and others to reach to the latest industry trends. He has already found more than 2,800 people employed in the industry in Ireland as of October 2012.
Iconic Danish toy company Lego has reported a 25% jump in revenue, reports The Irish Independent. The maker of colourful building bricks saw sales rise to €3.1bn last year, the newspaper says, with the value of the company now standing at $14.6bn. Lego is 81-years-old and has been passed down from father to son since its foundation. The Independent says that the Kristiansen family owns 75% of the company, with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen having a personal fortune of $5.9bn. His children hold a combined share of 37% in the company, worth more than $5.3bn. The company has seen huge success in recent years with its brand tie-ins, which resulted in the likes of Star Wars and Harry Potter-themed Lego.
The IT services market had its worst year in a decade last year, according to The Irish Times. Figures from Ovum show that business was down 34% in 2012, down to €16.1 billion. The number of deals, meanwhile, fell 17%. Europe is ranked as the biggest market for private sector business, with 45% of the world’s total contract value coming from there. Meanwhile there was a 48% rise in contract values in the US. Uncertainty over the European and US economies is singled out as the main reason for the drop in activity.
Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has struck out at Europe’s handling of the Cyprus debt crisis, reports The Financial Times, comparing it to a Soviet Union measure that hurt savers. His comments came as the Cypriot finance minister met with Russian officials to discuss the country’s attempts to reach a bailout agreement. Moscow has yet to offer any concrete support to Cyprus, the newspaper notes, with officials privately sceptical that Russia would bailout the country or offer further bridging loans. Mr Medvedev said the eurozone risked “undermining trust in financial institutions as a whole” and criticised the union for its disregard of small savers.