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Next-gen titles drive profits for Ubisoft

French software publisher Ubisoft has revealed its fourth quarter financial results, beating previous guidance and showing positive gains in market share, primarily driven by its next-generation titles on the Xbox 360.

French software publisher Ubisoft has revealed its fourth quarter financial results, beating previous guidance and showing positive gains in market share, primarily driven by its next-generation titles on the Xbox 360.

Fourth quarter revenues were posted at EURO 144 million, which exceeded the firm's previous guidance of EURO 133 million, despite falling some 34 per cent on the same period last year.

The announcement focuses on Ubisoft's gains in international market share, noting that on a combined platform basis, sell-through increased 22 per cent in the US, 13 per cent in the UK and 10 per cent in France. According to the statement, this growth places the company as the fourth independent publisher in the US and the second independent publisher in the UK and France.

Overall growth and market share gains are largely attributed to the success of Ubisoft's three Xbox 360 titles, specifically Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, which has sold around 800,000 units to date on the Xbox 360, with an excess of 1.6 million units in total on all platforms.

Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO, commented: "Establishing our leadership on the Xbox 360 is a great achievement. The tremendous success of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter confirms our ability to be at the forefront on new consoles."

"It should support Ubisoft�s financial performance during the coming fiscal year, as we expect the Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Revolution installed base to ramp-up rapidly," Guillemot added.

Full year revenue was posted at EURO 547 million, a marginal increase of 3 per cent on the previous year, and again attributed largely to the publisher's positioning in the next-generation software market, with Xbox 360 titles accounting for 46 per cent of software sales during the quarter.

For the first quarter ending June 30th, 2006, Ubisoft expects revenues of around EURO 60 million, compared to EURO 43 million the previous year, but declined to offer any further guidance on its overall performance for fiscal 2005-2006 performance, other than attaining "a positive current operating income, before stock-based compensation."

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