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Weak holiday sales drive Ubisoft to lower its profit expectations

Weak holiday sales drive Ubisoft to lower its profit expectations

February 11, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

Ubisoft is lowering its profit expectations for the current fiscal year in the wake of a weaker-than-expected holiday quarter which, according to the company's latest earnings report, saw sales fall roughly 30 percent year-over-year.

Ubisoft chiefly attributes that slip to underwhelming sales of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, which had a weaker-than-expected debut during the quarter that helped inform the company's decision to take a year off from releasing Assassin's Creed games.

In November Ubisoft's CFO told investors that the poor launch of predecessor Assassin's Creed Unity was to blame for Syndicate's weak first-week sales, and today Ubisoft gave a clearer picture by reporting €561.8 million (~$638.2 million USD) in sales for the quarter ending December 31st.

That's less than the roughly €600 million (~$681.6 million) it expected and quite a bit less than the €809.7 million (~$917.1 million) it saw during the same period last year, when Ubisoft released both Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed Rogue.

Under French accounting law Ubisoft is not required to publicly report its actual profits until the end of its fiscal year, so its actual earnings on sales this quarter are yet unclear.

What is clear is that the company is revising its profit predictions for its full fiscal year downward by roughly €50 million, and it now forecasts profits of ~€150 million for its 2015-2016 fiscal year.

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