Paris, France - March 16, 2005 - Ubisoft, one of the world's leading video game publishers, is pleased to announce its product catalog for fiscal year 2005-2006 (ending March 31, 2006) and provide additional information on its financial prospects.
First semester: four major launches, including Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown™
In light of strong sales for titles launched over the past few months as well as the high number of orders placed for blockbusters scheduled to hit the market by the close of fiscal year 2004-2005 (on March 31st), Ubisoft management has decided to release Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown™ in the first half of fiscal year 2005-2006, rather than in March 2005. This title, which is ready for launch, will thus boost the beginning of fiscal year 2005-2006 with estimated sales of 1.5 to 2 million units.
In addition to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown™, the first six months will see the release of three other major titles: Far Cry Instincts™ on consoles, Star Wars®: Revenge of the Sith™ for portable consoles and 187 Ride or Die™, a new brand in the urban street-racing segment.
Third quarter: Peter Jackson's King Kong and Brothers in Arms Road to Hill 30TM will join Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® and Prince of Persia® for an explosive holiday season
While Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® and Prince of Persia® will attempt to break the sales records achieved during the 2004 holiday season, Peter Jackson's King Kong is clearly shaping up to be one of the season's major blockbusters. These titles will be supplemented by a new chapter of Brothers In Arms, which has, in March, established itself as the benchmark brand in the World War II shooting-game segment.
Fourth quarter: new adventures for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® and three new brands
With Killing Day (working title), an FPS specifically designed for next-generation consoles, Ubisoft plans to demonstrate once again its technological lead and highlight the capabilities of the new consoles. The group will also mark its entry into the sports segment with a basketball game (And 1™) and reinforce its presence in the strategy segment with two games under the Might & Magic brand.
32 products will be launched in total during fiscal year 2005-2006, including three for Nintendo DS™, five for Sony's new PlayStation® Portable console (PSP™) and four for the new next-generation console from Microsoft.
Revised prospects for fiscal years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006
Taking into account the postponement of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown™, Ubisoft should register sales over €215 million for the fourth quarter of 2004-2005 while maintaining an annual operating income objective of €40-45 million according to French accounting standards and €38-43 million in pro-forma figures.
Indeed the high volume of sales for recent titles will generate additional gross margin that should fully compensate this delay. Net profit excluding extraordinary items (before amortization of goodwill) should amount to €18-22 million according to French accounting standards and €17-21 million in pro-forma figures. Available net cash flow before acquisition expenditures should equal €30 million, as opposed to the +€10 million initially projected.
For fiscal year 2005-2006, given the quality of its game portfolio, Ubisoft's previously stated objectives remain unchanged:
- 12% increase in sales at constant exchange rates.
- Operating income of more than €55 million according to French accounting standards.
As a result of these projections and the seasonal nature of sales, Ubisoft is expecting a net profit excluding extraordinary items (before amortization of goodwill and business assets) of over €28 million according to French accounting standards and available net cash flow before acquisition expenditures of more than €40 million.
"Ubisoft is ending 2004-2005 with outstanding results thanks to the successful launches of the Brothers in Arms brand, which has become the undisputed benchmark in its category in just one installment, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®, which has received rave reviews. For the first time in the video game industry, the Official Xbox® Magazine in the United States awarded a score of 9.9/10 to the blockbuster Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos TheoryTM. This rating, which recognizes a strategy based on quality and creativity, allows us to reaffirm our studios' standing among the best in the world," declared Yves Guillemot, president and CEO of Ubisoft. "Fiscal year 2005-2006 should turn out to be another record year right from the first quarter, with major product launches, an even richer game portfolio and an outlook of strong growth and increased profitability. Ubisoft is once again proving its ability to win market share and create value."