Driver: San Francisco fuels Ubisoft sales

Growing social and downloadable business helps publisher beat forecasts and lessen losses for first half of fiscal year, but overall revenues still down sharply.

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Ubisoft posted better-than-expected financial results today, thanks to Driver: San Francisco and a booming downloadable and online business. However, the publisher still posted a net loss for the first half of its fiscal year.

Driver: San Francisco outperformed expectations.
Driver: San Francisco outperformed expectations.

For the six months ended September 30, the French publisher reported revenues of €248.5 million ($343 million), down nearly 5 percent year-over-year. Ubisoft also posted a net loss of €37.1 million ($51.1 million), although that was a significant improvement from its first-half net loss of €89.8 million ($123.8 million) from the previous year.

In a statement accompanying the earnings, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot cited an 85 percent growth in the company's online revenues (including Smurfs for Facebook, From Dust, Trackmania 2 Canyon, Settlers Online, and Howrse) and better-than-expected sales of Driver: San Francisco. Ubisoft's back catalog also performed well, with Just Dance, Michael Jackson The Experience, and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood name-checked as particularly strong sellers.

As for the full fiscal year ending in March, Ubisoft reiterated its forecast earnings target of €1.04 billion ($1.43 billion) to €1.08 billion ($1.45 billion) in revenues, with an overall operating profit between €40 million ($55 million) and €60 million ($83 million). The publisher's holiday quarter lineup includes a number of notable releases, including Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Just Dance 3, Rayman Origins, The Black Eyed Peas Experience, and I Am Alive.

For more on Driver: San Francisco, check out GameSpot's review.

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