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Ubisoft Financial Results Reveal Profit, Delays and New Titles

by Rainier on April 28, 2005 @ 2:52 p.m. PDT

Today Ubisoft announced results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2004-2005, which showed an 8 % sales growth over last year's results. The included release schedule shows that Rainbow Six Lockdown has once again been delayed, this time to Q3 (July-September). More curious is the lack of PC specifications for Lockdown and 187 Ride or Die, something we experienced with Ghost Recon 2 right before its cancellation. The announcement also revealed two new titles, Surrender: Battle for the Bulge, and Firefighter Command: Raging Inferno. Read more for detailed financial results ...

Fourth quarter sales totalled €221 million (U.S. $278) and fiscal year 2004-2005 sales generated €537 million ($676), resulting in an eight percent annual sales growth over last year at constant exchange rates.

Faster Growth at the End of the Financial Year

A Record Fourth Quarter 2004-2005:
The new brand, Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30, which has sold 1.7 million units, has made its mark in the historical shooter game segment, confirming its long-term potential. The new opus for the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell brand also saw a highly successful launch, with 2.5 million units sold. In addition, Ubisoft made major inroads into the new portable console segment with Asphalt Urban GT TM and Rayman 2005 on Nintendo DS, which sold a combined 740,000 units over the financial year.

Thanks to the strong performance of these products, Ubisoft was ranked third among independent publisher on consoles in the United States** for the month of March and was the fifth ranked publisher for the first quarter. Over this period, Ubisoft also ranked third among independent publishers in Germany and second in the United Kingdom.

Sales 2004-2005: The Success of the Brand Creation Strategy
Over the fiscal year, Ubisoft generated sales of €537 million ($676) amounting to eight percent growth at a constant exchange rate over last year. Ubisoft continued to pursue its brand creation strategy, and now has a portfolio of eight major brands which have sold 17 million units, accounting for 65 percent of all business, including:

  • 5.1 million units for the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell brand
  • 3 million units for the Prince of Persia brand
  • 2.8 million units for the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon brand
  • 1.7 million units for the Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 brand

Increase in Cash Flow Forecast for 2004-2005

Net free cash flow, excluding acquisitions, is now expected to exceed €50 million ($63). This good performance stems from the generation of high cash flow from operations and continued control of the working capital requirement. Taking into account the acquisitions made during the year and increases in share capital, the net debt at March 31, 2005 is estimated to be €82 million ($103), compared to €119 million ($150) at the same time last year.

Additionally, Ubisoft can confirm its expected annual results for 2004-2005:

  • Earnings before interest and tax: €40-45 million ($50- 57) according to French accounting standards and € 38-43 million ($48-54) according to the pro-forma standard
  • Net income excluding exceptional items (before goodwill amortization and depreciation of business assets): €18-22 million ($23-28) according to French accounting standards and € 17-21 million ($21- 26) according to the pro-forma standard

Medium-term Prospects and Targets for 2005-2006

Ubisoft is expecting two-digit organic growth over the next few years based on the following:

  • Strengthening of its brand creation capacity through the recruitment of 600 new talents, expanding the production workforce to 2,900 by March 31, 2006.
  • Strong entries into new segments. For example, during 2005-2006:
    • The film licence segment with two of the most anticipated movies of the year
    • The sports segment with AND 1 Streetball [PlayStation2/Xbox]
    • Stronger presence in the strategy segment with Heroes of Might & Magic V [PC]
  • Expanding capacity on next generation consoles: seven titles will be launched on Nintendo DS, five on Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) and four on the new Microsoft console.

Targets for Fiscal Year 2005-2006

  • First half 2005-2006: net sales around €155 million ($195) (more than 20 percent growth at constant exchange rates) including €42 million ($53) in the first quarter
  • 12 percent increase in sales at constant exchange rates
  • Operating income of more than €55 million ($69) according to French accounting standards
  • Net income excluding exceptional items (before goodwill amortization and depreciation of business assets) greater than €28 million ($35) under French accounting standards
  • Net free cash flow excluding acquisitions in excess of €40 million ($50)

"Ubisoft has taken itself to a new level by generating high operating cash flow for the second year running while increasing its investments in production," said Yves Guillemot, president and CEO of Ubisoft. "The Ubisoft Group now has the capacity to quicken the pace of its investment and brand creation strategy, guaranteeing its growing profitability over the long term. The products for the new generation of consoles presented at the international E3 videogame trade show in Los Angeles will be a yardstick for the new stage we have now entered."

Consolidated sales
(in millions of euros)

  FY 2004-2005 FY 2003-2004 Change
(at constant exchange rates)
(at current exchange rates)
First quarter 62 66 -6% -6% Second quarter 68 62 +9% +8% Third quarter 186 228 -16% -18% Fourth quarter 221 152 +50% +45% Full year 537 508 +8% +6%

Note: the financial year runs from April 1 to March 31.

The results for financial year 2004-2005 will be announced June 16, 2005.

Release schedule ­ 1st quarter (April ­ June 2005)

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - NDS
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - DS/GBA
Cold Fear - PC
Bomberman DS - NDS
Prince of Persia Warrior Within Platinum (Europe) - PS2
Prince of Persia Warrior Within Classics (Europe) - Xbox
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 Classics (Europe) - Xbox
The Bard's Tale (Europe) - PC
Singles 2 Triple Trouble (Europe) - PC
Exclusive Range (Europe) - PC
Bomberman Hardball (Europe) - PS2
Puzzle Pirates (United States) - PC

Release schedule ­ 2nd quarter (July ­ September 2005)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown - NGC/PS2/Xbox
187 Ride or Die - PS2/Xbox
America's Army: Rise of a Soldier - PS2/Xbox
Far Cry Instincts - Xbox
Blazing Angels: Squadrons of World War II - Xbox
Myst V: End of Ages - PC
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 Multimission (working title) - Xbox
The Settlers: Heritage of Kings Expansion Disk (Europe) - PC
Lumines (Europe) - PSP
Lunar Genesis (United States) - NDS

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