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Ubisoft sales exceed targets as losses trimmed to €37.1m

Revenues of €249m 30% higher than expectations with 85% growth in online

Ubisoft has filed a half-yearly financial report which exceeds sales expectations and trims losses, with revenues of €248.5 million and a loss of €37.1 million, an improvement on losses of €89.8 million for the same period last year.

The sales figure exceeds the publisher's forecast by over 30 per cent, reflecting a huge gain of 85 per cent for the company's online business. Overall sales forecasts for the full year remain unchanged at between €1,040 million and €1,080 million.

"First-half sales have come in around 30 per cent higher than our initial targets," said CEO Yves Guillemot.

"This performance reflects: a 85 per cent growth in our Online segment; a solid showing by our back catalogue, driven by Just Dance, Michael Jackson The Experience and Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, which confirms players' enthusiasm for these flagship brands; and better-than-expected sales for Driver San Francisco, boosted by very good reviews. Our strong sales figure drove another sharp increase in gross profit and enhanced our earnings performance."

Whilst six-month sales for the period ending September 30, 2011 were down 4.8 per cent year-on-year, the quarter ending September 30 showed an upturn of 47.5 per cent year-on-year, with a total of €146 million compared to €99 million for Q2 last year.

Ubisoft's Smurfs Facebook game, Trackmania 2 Canyon and From Dust were credited with the online revenue growth.

"Our line-up for the second half of the fiscal year includes established franchises for both hardcore and casual gamers," Guillemot said, confirming the company's previous forecast for the coming year.

"Our games will target the high-definition platforms - which are seeing continued progress - as well as the high-growth online segment and the high-potential categories in the casual segment. Thanks to the potential of those titles, combined with our significantly enhanced quality levels and solid first-half performance, we are confident that we will be able to achieve our targets for full-year 2011-12.

"We are now starting to reap the benefits from the work we have undertaken to ensure more frequent releases of our High Definition franchises with very high quality levels, as well as from the immense opportunities offered by the Casual segment and our continued strong growth in the Online segment. All of these factors will be key to Ubisoft's expected financial performance improvement and return to positive cash flow generation in full-year 2012-13."

The company also updated numbers for its biggest franchises, revealing that the Assassin's Creed series has sold-in 31 million units to retail, Ghost Recon 18 million units and the Just Dance franchise 17 million units. The company's online hub U Play has 17 million registered members.

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