Ubisoft FY sales grow 14%

Ubisoft has reported revenues for its full fiscal year 09 grew 14 per cent – despite a drop in Q4 sales.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008-09 came to €206 million, down 5.1 per cent – or 2.3 per cent at constant exchange rates – compared with the €217 million recorded for the same period of 2007-08.

Full-year sales for fiscal 2008-09 totaled €1,058 million versus €928 million for fiscal 2007-08, representing an increase of 14 per cent – or 18.4 per cent at constant exchange rates.

Fourth-quarter sales were in line with the guidance of between €190 million and €210 million Ubisoft issued after its third quarter.

The performance was primarily attributable to strong sales on Wii, as well as decent performances from Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X and Ubisoft’s Petz and Imagine ranges.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated: "In a highly competitive environment Ubisoft reported full-year sales growth of 18 per cent at constant exchange rates in 2008-09 as well as the second best profitability among comparable companies in its industry.

In addition to strengthening our existing franchises – particularly Far Cry and Rayman Raving Rabbids, whose sales were up by more than 50 per cent on their previous performances – we successfully launched two new million-unit-selling brands with Shaun White and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, confirming our entry into the sports segment and bolstering our position in the air combat segment.

Lastly, we affirmed our expertise in titles for Nintendo consoles, with our casual games business posting a growth over 40 per cent. In 2008-09, we also continued to invest heavily in Ubisoft’s future potential, hiring some 1,300 talents for our studios with a view to driving the Company’s expansion, further strengthening our franchises and preparing for the next generation of handheld as well as home consoles.

The results of these efforts will be seen as early as this Christmas with one of the industry’s most ambitious games line-ups which will include Assassin’s Creed 2, James Cameron’s Avatar, Splinter Cell Conviction, Rabbids Go Home and Red Steel 2."

The firm expects full-year current operating income before stock-based compensation to represent around 12 per cent of sales. Ubi’s net cash position on March 31st, 2009 is expected to stand at approximately €155.0 million compared with the previous estimate of around €200.0 million. The company said the figure was down on forecasts as due to the hiring of 1,300 employees for its studios and ‘the fact that the casual games business – particularly titles for Nintendo DS – is more working capital intensive.’

The firm confirmed targets for FY09-10 as sales of around €1,100 million and current operating income before stock-based compensation representing at least 11 per cent of sales.

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