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Ubisoft reports ‘record profitability’ and will ‘speed up’ investments in teams and studios in FY19/20

Ubisoft has once again reported a record financial year, revealing the company will be “speeding up [its] investments in teams and studios in order to support the Group’s growth” over the upcoming financial year.

In its full FY19 fiscal report, the developer/publisher shared a 17 per cent hike in net bookings – rising to €2,029 million – and revealed that non-IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) operating income was up 49 per cent to €446 million. Furthermore, the company revealed it had out-performed estimates for digital, PRI (player-recurring investment such as DLC and microtransactions) and back catalogue sales, “confirming the increasingly recurring profile of Ubisoft’s business”. In just a year, PRI spend has jumped from 28 per cent of net bookings to 31 per cent, and the company anticipates even stronger revenue this year.

Across the year Ubisoft reported net bookings of €2,028.6 billion, up 17.1 per cent year-on-year (YoY), albeit a little below its projection of €2,050 million. Sales came in at €1,845.5 billion, net bookings with net income of €100 million.

The company reported it now boasts 100 million active unique players – not including those who engage on mobile devices – which sets a new record for “overall player engagement”. In particular, the statement highlighted Rainbow Six Siege’s €1bn+ “in cumulative net bookings since the game’s release” – a 40 per cent YoY increase in the player base to over 45 million – and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which gave the company “record engagement and PRI for the franchise”.

The Division 2 sale a “10-fold increase in sales on Uplay” compared with its predecessor and PC net bookings were up 78.7 per cent. The company also reported 62.4 per cent boost in net bookings in Asia.

The statement also reported that Skull & Bones has once again been pushed back and will not be released in the 2019-2020 period, Ubisoft will release four AAA releases, one of which will be Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which is scheduled to release October.

“Our momentum continued to be buoyed by the quality of our games and live services, as well as our ability to reach a wide audience on more and more platforms and geographic regions,” said Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot. “The video game industry is at the dawn of a deep-seated transformation, which, as barriers between platforms and between geographic regions continue to disappear, should allow us to reach five billion players over the coming ten years.

“These major changes will be driven in large part by the growing success of console and PC franchises on mobile and the advent of cloud gaming. The latter will allow for, among other things, appealing multi-screen offerings and the creation of amazing new experiences that make use of unprecedented technological capacities. A clear indicator of the future scale of this transformation is how an increasing number of platforms are competing with one another to obtain quality content and access to communities of engaged players.

“Ubisoft is ideally positioned within this overall context. We are building our organization sustainably while retaining our agility, […] we have an unrivalled production capacity, delivering high-quality content at a sustained pace. Over the past years we have built up a close relationship with our communities. These communities are highly engaged and constantly growing, and they are at the heart of the value of our games. And lastly, with Uplay, we now have a high-performing and fast-growing on-line service and distribution platform, enabling us to embed these close community ties for the long term.

“Considering the numerous value-creation opportunities that await us in the coming years, we are speeding up our investments in our teams and studios in order to support the Group’s growth and continue to increase our profitability over the coming years,” he concluded.

Looking ahead, Ubisoft projects net bookings to increase by 8 per cent to €2.19bn, and its non-IFRS operating income to increase by the same rate to €480 million.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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