Ubisoft H1 sales fall 51.7%

French publishing giant Ubisoft has released its H1 2009/2010 financials, ending September 30th 2009, which reveal that sales of the company’s software sales fell by 51.7 per cent compared to the same period the year before.

Total sales for the six months ending September hit €166m – last year that number was €344m.

For the quarter ending September 30th sales reached €83m – a year-on-year decrease of 52.8 per cent. Games released in the period included Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (the total sales of which stand at 900k), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

In total Ubisoft expects the first half of this financial year to bring an operating loss of €80m. This compares to an operating profit of €33m for the first half of its previous financial year.

Ubisoft also saw its US market share drop from five per cent in the same six months last year to 4.2 per cent. It’s European market share remained consistent at 7.9 per cent, though its UK market share fell 0.4 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

The next three months, which a statement from the publisher described as the most important quarter in Ubisoft’s history” will include releases such as Assassin’s Creed 2, James Cameron’s Avatar, Rabbids Go Home, Shaun White Snowboarding World Stage as well as a number of casual titles on Wii and DS.

It expects Q3 sales to hit €540m – a six per cent year-on-year increase.

As expected, in the first half of fiscal 2009-10 the market was very difficult both for Nintendo DS games and for our back-catalogue titles, with few new releases,” CEO Yves Guillemot stated.

The second half of the year should be significantly more favourable with a return to strong growth and profitability. Although the environment is still uncertain and the full effect of the sharp drop in console prices has yet to be felt, Ubisoft has the advantage of a diversified and very high-quality line-up for the crucial Holiday period

Growth is expected to be even stronger in the fourth quarter, fuelled by the launches of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Steel 2 and R.U.S.E. Finally, thanks to the investments we have made in recent years to develop our creative workforce, we will be launching numerous initiatives and innovations in the short and medium-term in all segments of the industry, both for current and future consoles and for on-line games.”

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