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Ubisoft anticipates better-than-expected holiday quarter

Ubisoft anticipates better-than-expected holiday quarter

January 10, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

Ubisoft revealed today that strong holiday performance should help the company exceed its initial expectations for its fiscal third quarter, though a delay for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier could offset these gains by the end of the year.

The publisher now predicts total sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 to fall in around €650 million ($830 million), up 8 percent from the €600 million ($767 million) reported during the same time last year.

This new estimate also significantly beats the company's guidance from its fiscal first half, when Ubisoft said it would earn between €580 million ($741 million) and €620 million ($792 million).

"Against an extremely competitive backdrop, we were able to reach an even wider audience thanks to the quality of our games and our capacity to create brands for both hardcore and casual players," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

"Assassin's Creed Revelations posted a solid performance, in line with our forecasts, and Just Dance generated outstanding sales. The quarter also saw an ongoing increase in our online sales. Ubisoft is therefore continuing to progress towards improving its financial performance and returning to positive cash flow generation in full fiscal year 2012-13," he added.

Alongside its new estimates, Ubisoft also announced that the upcoming Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will now launch in Q1 2013 rather than Q4 2012.

With this delay in mind, Ubisoft now expects to pull in between €1.05 billion ($1.34 billion) and €1.08 billion ($1.38 billion) by the end of its fiscal 2011, a range very similar to the €1.04 billion ($1.32 billion) and €1.08 billion ($1.38 billion) predicted earlier this year.

In response, Wedbush Securities financial analyst Michael Pachter said that the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier delay will likely offset any gains from Ubisoft's strong performance in its third quarter, leaving his full-year estimates for the publisher unchanged.

Pachter added that he believes Ubisoft's numerous game delays and unpredictable release schedule have continuously hindered the company's performance on the stock market.

Ubisoft will publish its official Q3 sales figures on February 15, 2012.

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