Image Metrics Inc., a provider of facial animation software and services for the entertainment and film industry, today posted its financial results for the second quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Image Metrics posted second-quarter revenue for 2010 at $1.6 million compared to $0.2 million in the year-ago period. The company attributes the increase primarily to growth in its customer base, and the expanding pipeline of full-service facial animation work for clients largely in the video game industry.

The company also executed efforts to expand its internal sales and marketing team over the past year. Revenue for the first half of fiscal 2010 rose 154 percent to $4.0 million from $1.6 million in the prior year.

Gross profit for the second quarter rose to $0.8 million, representing a gross profit margin of 47.6 percent compared to a modest negative gross profit in the second quarter of last year. The company said the gross profit increase is because of work in support of several high-profile titles, as well as growing production efficiencies.

Michael Starkenburg, Image Metrics’ CEO, said the company’s results reflect customer demand and loyalty for its services and efforts, and said the company believes it will continue growth in the upcoming quarters.

“Our first half results clearly demonstrate the ability of our unique animation technology to deliver impressive top-line growth and improving profitability as we scale the business. Our investment in building out a sales force over the past year is clearly paying dividends as we have landed new customers and as existing customers have been signing new contracts, thereby dramatically reducing our sales cycle,” Starkenburg stated in the press release.

“We believe this activity, combined with our order backlog and pipeline, set the stage for sustainable growth going forward,” he continued. “Our unique facial animation process is proven to improve both quality and time to market for a range of entertainment forms including video games, feature film and television. To satisfy increasingly discerning consumer audiences, creative professionals must work even harder to create facial animation that captures the true subtleties of human facial motion and is ‘believable.’ Image Metrics uniquely addresses this creative challenge while delivering important business benefits such as speed and competitive pricing.”

Starkenburg compared Image Metrics’ results of 2009 to current results and said the company anticipates conducting numerous tests to boost revenue and backlog in the upcoming year.

“Looking out at the balance of our fiscal year, Image Metrics has good visibility to generate significant revenue growth and improved bottom line performance compared to fiscal 2009. We entered our third quarter with an order backlog totaling $2.9 million and expect to convert the bulk of that into revenue by the end of our fiscal year. We are actively prosecuting dozens of tests with leading developers and hope to convert a significant portion of these tests into backlog. While seasonality and the variability of contract timing will likely drive revenue and backlog fluctuations over the coming quarters, our team is working very hard to convert a portion of our pipeline of over $20.0 million in order prospects as of March 31, 2010, into signed contracts and ultimately revenue.”