Ubisoft reports increase in half-year sales

Meager increase in sales not enough to offset losses; continued strong sales of Pandora Tomorrow called out.

While French publisher today is predicting a strong finish to its full fiscal year (Ubisoft operates on a fiscal year that begins April 1), its current earnings statement, for the company's first half year of operations, is written in red.

Top line sales of $157.7 million for the six months ending September 30, 2004, are up 2 percent over the same period a year ago. But in spite of the increase to the company's top line revenues, the bottom line saw an increased loss for the company.

Today, the company posted a net loss of 36.5 million euros ($48.5 million) for the six-month period ending September 30, 2004, versus a loss of 34.4 million euros ($45.7 million) a year ago for the same six-month period.

Not surprisingly, the company's statement accompanying the news was upbeat--and more prone to look ahead rather than dwell on the lackluster half-year figures. "The launches of two major products--Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within--have been very encouraging: Ghost Recon 2 ranks third in November sales on Xbox in the United States while Prince of Persia Warrior Within sold more than twice as many copies in its first week than the original game," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement. Neither of those two recently released games, however, contributed to revenues in the six-month period in question.

Ubisoft attributes the growth in sales to the 1.2 million units Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow sold, as well as strong sales in Europe of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow and Myst IV: Revelation.

The statement continued, pumping up prospects for a solid holiday sales season. "Christmas sales [are] off to a good start," the statement said. "Record activity [is] expected in the fourth quarter."

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