'Namco Bandai Group Restart Plan' Announced
posted on by Egan Loo
Namco Bandai Holdings (also known as Bandai Namco Holdings in Japan) announced on Tuesday its "Bandai Namco Group Restart Plan" as a blueprint for future growth, after reporting a substantial loss in its latest financial statement.
As part of the plan, the various Bandai Namco Group companies will be reorganized this April. The game and video/music businesses will be unified under the umbrella of "content business," after each division is put under review. About 630 people, or 10% of the Bandai Namco Group companies' workforce, will lose their jobs. After the reorganization, the parent company hopes to trim about 8 billion yen (US$90 million) in its expenses.
To maximize the value of its properties, the Bandai Namco Group will develop the simultaneous release of videos through both packaged home videos (such as DVDs and Blu-ray Discs) and on-demand distribution.
The Bandai Namco Group will also enter the live entertainment business with the April establishment of a new company, which is tentatively named Bandai Namco Live. The new company will handle events related to Bandai Namco Group's toys, games, videos, and music. The video distributor Bandai Visual is footing 51% of the new company's startup capital of 10 million yen (US$110,000), while the anime studio Sunrise is footing the remaining 49%. Shunji Inoue of Bandai Namco Group's Lantis music label will head the new company.
Namco Bandai Holdings announced its revised financial figures for the period between April and December of 2009 on Tuesday as well. Sales had dropped 10.4% from the same period the year before to 282.832 billion yen (US$3.1273 billion). The parent company estimated that sales for entire fiscal year ending in March 2010 will be 10.9% lower at 380 billion yen (US$4.19 billion). Where once it predicted a profit of 8.5 billion yen (US$94 million) for the entire fiscal year, it now estimates a loss of 31 billion yen (US$340 million). (In the previous fiscal year, it had a profit of 14 billion yen or US$150 million.) The company cited the sudden drop in sales in packaged releases of both videogames and video/music items.