Sales for the first quarter of 2008-09 came to €169 million, up 25.8%, or 33.0% at constant exchange rates, compared with the €134 million recorded for the same period of 2007-08.
First-quarter sales for 2008-09 outstripped the initial guidance of approximately €154 million issued when Ubisoft released its sales figures for fourth-quarter 2007-08. This performance was primarily attributable to the solid showing of:
- Titles launched in 2007-08, such as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Assassin's Creed and Rayman Raving Rabbids 2.
- The "Games For Everyone" brands including the Petz, Imagine and MyCoach series which represented 33% of sales versus 11% in the first quarter of 2007-08.
- Titles launched in the first quarter of 2008-09, including Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 for PC, Haze, and the MyWeightLossCoach game which has got off to a promising start.
Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft, stated: "Ubisoft delivered a very robust showing in the first quarter of 2008-09 against a particularly dynamic market backdrop. This achievement was especially fueled by ongoing strong growth for our Games For Everyone range where we are continuing to strengthen our leadership position. We are notably very pleased to see our latest work – MyWeightLossCoach – ranked among the best sellers for the Nintendo DS. Additionally, at the E3 fair we presented one of the most ambitious games line-ups for the Christmas period, with flagship titles such as Far Cry 2, Prince of Persia, Shaun White, Rayman Raving Rabbids 3, Brothers in Arms, Tom Clancy's End War and a broad offering for the Nintendo DS and Wii consoles. As a result, Ubisoft is well poised to reap the benefits of another record year expected for the video games industry whose growth over the first six months of calendar 2008 has exceeded forecasts."
The second fiscal quarter will see the following main releases:
- Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway for the X360, PC and PS3.
- SoulCalibur for the X360, Wii and PS3 for the European markets.
- New casual games for the Nintendo DS and Wii.
Consequently, the Group expects second-quarter 2008-09 sales to come in at around €160 million, representing a 26% increase on the same period of 2007-08 and also bringing year-on-year growth for the first half of 2008-09 to 26%.
Update on the games release schedule
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, whose release was previously scheduled for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008-09, will now bolster the line-up for fiscal 2009-10.
Ubisoft is raising its guidance for full-year 2008-09 sales to approximately €1.02 billion from the previously-announced €1 billion as a result of the following factors: favorable market conditions for the video games industry, the Group’s solid first-quarter sales performance (particularly by the Games For Everyone range), and the positive reception given to the games presented at E3. The Group is maintaining its target for current income before stock options to represent at least 12% of sales.
In the first six calendar months of 2008, Ubisoft was the number four independent publisher in the United States with 5.6% market share (compared with number 3 and 6.2% one year earlier); number 3 in Europe with 8.4% market share (compared with number 2 and 8.2%); number 3 in France with 7.5% market share (compared with number 2 and 8.0%); number 4 in the United Kingdom with 8.9% market share (compared with number 2 and 10.0%); and number 2 in Germany with 7.9% market share (compared with number 2 and 6.9%).
Created over 15 years ago Hybride is based near Montreal and employs 80 team members. The studio specializes in the creation of visual effects for cinema, television and advertising and its many projects include the movies 300, Frank Miller's Sin City, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Ubisoft and Hybride will work closely together to share technology and develop tools in order to optimize the creation of both video games and special effects, offering gamers visual experiences that rival those of the cinema. At the same time, Hybride will continue to work actively with its movie partners while also bringing its expertise to leverage Ubisoft’s intellectual property in the cinema industry.
Ubisoft has opened two new studios, one in Kiev and one in Sao Paolo. The Kiev studio expects to build up a fifty-person team over the coming twelve months and staff numbers at the Sao Paulo studio are scheduled to reach 200 in the next four years.