May 13-2015
FY-2015: PlayStation improves contribution to Ubisoft sales; Europe, Rest of World eat into US share

BENGALURU: Ubisoft sales for totalled € 1,463.75 million in FY-2015 (year ended 31 March, 2015 – current year), up 45.3 per cent (or 41.6 per cent at constant exchange rates) compared with the € 1,007.06 million recorded for FY-2014. The company reported (non IFRS) operating income of € 170.7 million (11.7 per cent of sales) in FY-2015 as compared to a loss of € 65.6 million in FY-2014. The company reported a profit (net income) of € 87.01 million in FY-2015 as compared to a loss of € 65.53 million in FY-2014.

Sales in Q4-2015 reduced 12.4 per cent (14.3 per cent at constant exchange rates) to € 169.9 million from the € 194.1 million in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PlayStation 3 (PS3) with share of 32 per cent and 13 per cent respectively have increased their contribution to sales of Ubisoft in FY-2015. Last year PS4 contributed 9 per cent and its predecessor PS3 contributed 24 per cent to the gaming company’s sales.

The other major contributors to Ubisoft’s sales in FY-2014 are Microsoft’s Xbox One with 20 per cent share and Xbox 360 with 13 per cent share. Last year Xbox One and Xbox 360 contributed 6 per cent and 27 per cent to the company’s FY-2014 sales.

During Q4-2015, PS4 improved its share to Ubisoft’s sales to 23 per cent from 13 per cent in FY-2014 and PS3 share declined to 8 per cent in FY-2015 from 20 per cent in the previous year. Xbox One contribution improved from 7 per cent of the company’s sales in FY-2014 to 19 per cent in the current year, while Xbox 360 sales declined to 10 per cent from 22 per cent in the previous quarter.

Europe’s contribution to Ubisoft’s sales in the current year increased to 43 per cent from 39 per cent in FY-2014 and the Rest of World (ROW) increased its share to 11 per cent from 9 per cent in the previous year. US share to Ubisoft’s sales reduced 6 per cent to 46 per cent in FY-2015 from 52 per cent in FY-2014.

Company speak

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said: “Ubisoft had three of the industry’s seven best-selling titles of 2014, proving that we can meet gamers’ ever-higher expectations for systemic open-world games, which offer more in-game freedom and allow players to create their own experiences. This performance once again demonstrates our teams’ exceptional and uniquely consistent ability to create blockbuster franchises, which enabled the Group to deliver a record financial performance in 2014-15 and lay solid foundations for its long-term development.”

Ubisoft’s says that its sales performance in full-year 2014-15 reflects: The fact that three of its brands were among the seven best-sellers of 2014 (Assassin’s Creed Unity + Rogue, Far Cry 4 and Watch Dogs); A sharp increase in market share, up by more than 3 points to 12.8 per cent  in North America, Europe, Brazil and Australia;  A 96.8 per cent surge in digital segment revenues, which reached € 382.7 million and accounted for 26.1 per cent of total sales (versus 19.3 per cent in FY-2014). Digital distribution was the main driver of this growth, followed by mobile and sales of additional content; and a robust back-catalogue showing, with sales stable at € 233.0 million.

Forecast for FY-2016

Ubisoft says that its operating income target for FY-2016 is € 200 million led by: The upcoming releases of the latest opuses of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘Just Dance’ franchises as well as Tom Clancy’s ‘The Division’, Tom Clancy’s ‘Rainbow Six Siege’ and another triple-A title that has not yet been announced. Overall revenue from newly-released games is expected to be lower than in FY-2015. An increase in back-catalogue sales and digital segment revenues, propelled by further growth for digital distribution, Free-to-Play revenues and extra content;  Favourable currency effects;  Another increase in gross profit; Lower R&D expenses as a percentage of sales.