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Leap in online, digital sales spur Ubisoft's full-year profits

Leap in online, digital sales spur Ubisoft's full-year profits

May 15, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Ubisoft has reported €37.3 million ($47.7 million) in profits for the fiscal year -- an improvement over the previous year's loss of €52.1 ($73 million) -- thanks in part to a "leap" in sales for its digital and online releases.

Reporting its full-year and fourth quarter results (ending March), the Parisian developer and publisher has revealed that its online/digital sales for games like The Settlers Online and Howrse jumped by 110.8 percent to €80 million ($102.3 million).

It noted that strong online sales, which have very high margins for the company, coupled with a sharp improvement in back catalog sales, were the primary contributors to an increase in the firm's profits.

Ubisoft's full-year revenues came out to €1.06 billion ($1.36 billion), with €161 ($206 million) of that generated during the fourth quarter. That's in line with the publisher's guidance, but it's 9.6 percent less than the €178 million ($227.7 million) it earned during the same period last year.

€578 million ($739 million) of Ubisoft's annual revenues came from core titles like Assassin's Creed: Revelations and the aforementioned The Settlers Online, while €483 million ($618 million) was attributed to casual titles like the company's popular Just Dance series and Rocksmith.

The publisher believes that its investments in the free-to-play segment will continue to deliver strong profitability growth for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. It intends to release over 15 online and digital titles during the first quarter alone (ending June), along with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier for multiple platforms.

Ubisoft's expects sales for the year to grow, reaching somewhere between €1.16 billion and €1.2 bilion ($1.48 billion and $1.53 billion). The company predicts that €115 million ($147 million) of that will come from the first quarter, an 11 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

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