Ubisoft sees record fourth quarter

French publisher passes quarter billion in sales in its fiscal Q4, thanks to Brothers in Arms and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory.

Thanks to strong sales of its Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series and the new Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, Ubisoft saw record fourth quarter sales for the fiscal year 2004/2005. The company completed its financial year on March 31, thus its fourth quarter figures are representative of the months January, February, and March 2005.

According to the French publisher, Ubisoft sales for its fourth quarter totaled $278 million. While its financial results for the year ending March 31 will not be officially released until June, the company says that total sales for fiscal year 2004/2005 reached $676 million. This translated into an eight percent growth in the company's sales figures over the previous year.

The big winner for the company was Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, with 2.5 million units sold. Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 also distributed strongly, selling 1.7 million copies. Adding to the company's stellar sales were its Nintendo DS offerings Asphalt Urban GT and Rayman, which have sold a combined 740,000 units.

The company says that its strength lies in its brands and the intellectual property behind them. With eight major brands accounting for 65 percent of its sales in the 2004/2005 fiscal year, Ubisoft is particularly beholden to the success of its sequels. The company offered sales numbers for its top brands, including 5.1 million Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell games sold, 2.8 million units of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon games, and 3 million units of the Prince of Persia series.

Ubisoft also included some predictions and plans for its future in an earnings press release issued this morning. Chief among those plans is the expansion of the company's workforce, with 600 new hires planned for the coming months. The company hopes to expand its production workforce to 2,900 employees by the end of March 2006.

Next-generation consoles and handhelds also figure heavily into Ubisoft's plans for the future. According to Ubisoft's press release, the company is working on seven new titles for the Nintendo DS, five for the Sony PSP, and four for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox.

"The products for the new generation of consoles presented at the international E3 videogame trade show in Los Angeles will be a yardstick for the new stage we have now entered," said Yves Guillemot, president and CEO of Ubisoft.

The company expects sales in the first half of fiscal year 2005/2006 to reach $195 million, which is more than 20 percent higher than its previous Q1/Q2.

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