Head of games at Angry Birds firm goes after profit warning

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HELSINKI (Reuters) -“Angry birds” maker Rovio (ROVIO.HE) said on Friday its head of games was leaving, a week after the Finnish company issued a profit warning that sent its shares plunging 50 percent.

FILE PHOTO: Angry Birds toys are displayed during a news conference in Hong Kong July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

“It’s time to pass the hoodie and move on,” Wilhelm Taht said in a statement, without giving reasons for his departure.

Rovio said Taht was leaving with immediate effect for personal reasons and Chief Executive Kati Levoranta would assume his position for the time being.

Rovio shares, which debuted at 11.50 euros apiece in September, fell a further 10 percent to a new low of 4.30 euros as the company gave new financial details that some analysts said were worse than expected, even after the profit warning.

Last week, Rovio forecast a 2018 operating margin of 9-11 percent versus 10.6 percent in 2017 and said it expected sales of 260-300 million euros ($320-$370 million) versus 297 million last year.

In Friday’s full financial report, Rovio said its brand licensing revenues would decline 40 percent due to waning income from its 3D Hollywood movie, released in 2016.

“That implicitly puts the games unit in a worse position than market thought … It gives a range of 7 percent decline to 9 percent growth (for the games unit),” said SEB Equities analyst Mathias Lundberg, who has a“hold” rating on the stock.

Investors expect management to explain reasons behind the profit warning in a news conference starting 1200 GMT.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Simon Johnson and Mark Potter