KADOKAWA has released its financial report for the period of the year closed on March 31, 2021, to its investors on April 30 to inform them that while things may look bad in some business segments due to the pandemic, overall sales are improving in 2020 despite the pandemic issues. and they plan to produce at least 40 titles into anime in the future.
For KADOKAWA in 2020, overall net sales were up 2.6% compared to 2019, with improvements seen across businesses in light novels , videos, and especially video games, showing an increase in operating profit of 114.6 . One of the best performing areas of business is publishing, which deals with LN, manga and more. Net sales increased 10.5%, while operating profit increased 105.5%. This is thanks to increased sales during the lockdown periodespecially in e-books, not physical purchases. This lowers production costs while increasing sales, making it a very profitable part of the company. Overseas sales through Bookwalker Global increased by 22%, and domestically, one of the highest performing segments was isekai for the female demographic.
KADOKAWA said in its report that it will work more closely with foreign companies (such as the newly purchased J-Novel Club ) to release LNs worldwide in larger and faster quantities. They are also looking for 100 more editors to increase the number of series owned by KADOKAWA from 500 to 600.
In the video section, which includes anime and live-action , net sales fell 8.2% for the year, although operating profit actually increased 7.1%. This is because the film share experienced a massive decline due to the lack of cinemas opening during Japan’s first Emergency, as well as how difficult it was to produce films when the pandemic started, resulting in an 8 billion yen drop in overall sales.
However, an increase in operating profit thanks to more overseas businesses in the video segment, with titles such as Re:Zero and Konosuba, helped push overseas profits up 22%. These titles are pushed through not only anime (though royalties via streaming and home video releases are a big aspect of this) but also affiliated smartphone games and other licensing opportunities.
Along with more LNs, KADOKAWA wants to increase the number of anime they help produce from 33 titles in 2020 to over 40 titles per year (though Tadashi Sudo of Animation Business notes that KADOKAWA has already achieved this in 2020, with 31 TV series, 5 theater films, and 4 OVA /event screenings). KADOKAWA also wants to increase revenue from licensing, and is working with companies like Sony and CyberAgent to help produce more smartphone games based on the popular series. Revenue from licensing is up 136% from 2020, with smartphone game licensing and collaboration increasing 165% year over year.