Candy Crush maker’s shares hit by forecast of softer sales

King Digital is trying to replace dwindling revenues from its star game with new products

Investors lost their taste for the company behind the Candy Crush Saga gaming phenomenon on Thursday after the firm signalled slower-than-expected sales in the coming months, as turnover from its flagship game continues to slow.

King Digital booked $529m in sales for the three months to the end of June, down 13pc on the same quarter last year. Four in every five dollars spent on the firm’s games came from mobile devices.

Some of the fall was the result of fewer new games launching so far this year, and the continued decline of revenues from Candy Crush Saga that has not yet been supplanted by its new incarnation, Candy Crush Soda.

Quarterly profits fell 28pc on a year ago to $119m.

King said it expects sales of between $460m and $485m for the third quarter, a further drop that would be lower than some analysts had forecast.

Shares in the New York-listed company fell almost 8pc in after-hours trading following the results announcement. The firm floated in March 2014 but has struggled to return to the $7.6bn value given on its debut.

The stock had already come under pressure from King’s warning in May that sales would be softer than expected.

About 501 million people played King’s games at least once a month in the most recent quarter, a rise of 3pc on the same period last year. Of those players, 142 million indulged daily. However, the number of users paying for features within the games at least once a month fell 27pc on a year ago to 7.589 million.

The company said that the average gross bookings from a paying player was $23.26 during the second quarter of the year – up 19pc on the same time last year, as dedicated customers paid for features in several King games.

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