Record sales for Ubi, but expectations cut

The sales success for the quarter to December 31st was attributed largely to the strong performance of December releases King Kong and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, which contributed to a nine-month sales increase of 29 per cent, totalling €403 million.

The statement also highlighted the strong sales of its handheld titles, which accounted for as much as 15 per cent of year-to-date sales.

Advances in market share also ensured Ubisoft had plenty to shout about, the firm claiming to be fourth largest independent publisher of 2005 in all territories excluding Japan.

The US proved to be market with the largest growth for the publisher, with sell-through rising 23 per cent year-on-year, and market share growing from 3.5 per cent in 2004 to 4.5 per cent last year.

But despite these successes, the company’s outlook was still revised downward for fiscal 2005-2006, with weak US and European games markets, lower than expected reorders for King Kong and the slippage of Splinter Cell: Double Agent all contributing to the change.

Full year net revenues are now expected to come in at around the €530 million mark, where €600 million was previously expected.

“We are disappointed that our full year results should come below our initial guidance,” commented CEO Yves Guillemot. “Nevertheless we are very proud that Ubisoft has clearly gained ground in 2005, in a challenging environment due to the arrival of next-generation home consoles."

“These gains were achieved while making major investments in these new platforms in order to leverage the group’s strengths for future profitable growth.”

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