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Angry Birds' Rovio in no rush for stock exchange listing, executive says

By Jussi Rosendahl

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Rovio, the Finnish company behind the game and toy phenomenon Angry Birds, is not planning an initial public offering any time soon as it concentrates on managing its fast growth, a senior executive said.

After a global breakthrough of its smartphone game in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal the birds' eggs, Rovio said a few years ago that it could go public by 2013, either in Hong Kong or New York.

However, Rovio's marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka told Reuters the company was in no hurry to raise cash.

"We don't have any news on this front," Vesterbacka, wearing a red Angry Birds hoodie, told Reuters in the sidelines of a Helsinki startup conference Slush.

"The most important thing is to sort out how to scale our business as fast as possible, and grab all the markets that are available to us."

Rovio has in recent years expanded the Angry Birds brand into an animated TV series and merchandising of toys and clothing. The company has also been involved in promoting Finland's early childhood education system in China.

Last year, Rovio's revenue doubled to 152 million euros ($204 million), and operating profit grew 64 percent to 77 million euros.

Vesterbacka said as many as 94 percent of Chinese people know the colorful Angry Birds brand while the ratio in the United States is also over 90 percent, but he said there was still room for growth.

Rovio is about to launch a new Angry Birds car game in December. Its other plans include an animated 3D film.

"We are not building this for 100 days but for 100 years, so this is only the very beginning... Next year we will be doing bigger things than this year." ($1 = 0.7442 euros)

(Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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