Ubisoft annual sales climb 24.4 percent

GRAW, Rayman boost French publisher's bottom line; company takes in more than $917 million during last fiscal year.

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One week after it touted its upcoming releases in Paris, Ubisoft has reported its earnings for its last financial year, which ended on March 31. During the previous 12 months, the Paris-based publisher posted record earnings, taking in 680.3 million euros ($917.1 million)--a 24.4 percent increase over the year before. Gross profit rose 91.7 million euros ($123.6 million) to top 452.4 million ($609.9 million). Net income for the year was 40.5 million euros ($54.6 million), way up from the 11.9 million euros ($16.1 million) it took in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share were 0.91 euros ($1.23).

Ubisoft said its milestone-setting income was "fueled by sales of new generation games, which accounted for 60 percent of the total sales figure"--or more than $550 million. Ubisoft was an early and avid supporter of the latest batch of gaming machines, and scored hits on the Xbox 360 with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Rainbow Six Vegas and on the Wii with Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids. Its forthcoming shooter Haze is one of the year's most anticipated releases for the PlayStation 3.

"The sharp improvement in our operating profitability in fiscal 2006-07 reflects the diversity and strong performance of our games portfolio," CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement. "Ubisoft has laid the foundation for starting 2007-2008 in excellent conditions and is well-positioned to continue to gain market share and further increase its profitability in a high-growth sector."

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