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Ubisoft reports 2008-9 sales up 14%

Publisher please with performance of Far Cry and Rabbids titles

Ubisoft has released its financial statement for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, noting a headline increase in sales across the 12 months of 14 per cent, or 18.4 per cent at constant exchange rates.

Revenues from games came in at EUR 1.06 billion (USD 1.4 billion), and although the beginning of this year saw a slowdown compared to the same period in 2008, sales in the fourth quarter were in line with guidance at EUR 206 million (USD 275 million).

The company noted the strong performance of Tom Clancy's HAWX, which hit its target of 1 million unit sales, while the Petz and Imagine franchises both sold 1 million units in the fourth quarter.

"In a highly competitive environment Ubisoft reported full-year sales growth of 18 per cent at constant exchange rates in 2008-09 as well as the second best profitability among comparable companies in its industry," said CEO Yves Guillemot. "In addition to strengthening our existing franchises - particularly Far Cry and Rayman Raving Rabbids, whose sales were up by more than 50 per cent on their previous performances - we successfully launched two new million-unit-selling brands with Shaun White and Tom Clancy's HAWX, confirming our entry into the sports segment and bolstering our position in the air combat segment.

"Lastly, we affirmed our expertise in titles for Nintendo consoles, with our casual games business posting a growth over 40 per cent. In 2008-09, we also continued to invest heavily in Ubisoft's future potential, hiring some 1,300 talents for our studios with a view to driving the company's expansion, further strengthening our franchises and preparing for the next generation of handheld as well as home consoles.

"The results of these efforts will be seen as early as this Christmas with one of the industry's most ambitious games line-ups which will include Assassin's Creed 2, James Cameron's Avatar, Splinter Cell Conviction, Rabbids Go Home and Red Steel 2."

Ubisoft also released information on guidance for the next financial year, noting expectations of around EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.47 billion) in sales, with growth coming mainly in the second half of the year - around 23 per cent - compared to an expected contraction in the first half of about 35 per cent.

The key titles expected to launch before the end of fiscal 2009-10 include Assassin's Creed 2, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Steel 2 and Ghost Recon 4.