Record annual performance, beating targets
– Sales: €1,464 million
– Non-IFRS operating income: €171 million
– Cash-flows from operating activities: 232 M€
§ Operating income target for 2015-16 confirmed § Shares buy-back program
Paris, May 12, 2015 – Today, Ubisoft released its sales and earnings figures for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.
Non-IFRS income statement and key financial data
|In € millions||2014-15||%||2013-14||%|
|General and administrative expenses||(98.4)||-6.7%||(82.0)||-8.1%|
|Total SG&A expenses||(382.5)||-26.1%||(361.3)||-35.9%|
|Non-IFRS operating income/(loss)||170.7||11.7%||(65.6)||-6.5%|
|Non-IFRS net income/(loss)||112.7||(49.3)|
|Non-IFRS diluted earnings/(loss) per share (in €)||1.00||(0.46)|
|Cash flows from operating activities*||232.4||(120.1)|
|R&D investment expenditure**||537.3||479.7|
|Net cash/(debt) position||211.3||(12.7)|
* Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (unaudited).
** Including royalties but excluding future commitments.
Commenting on these results, Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, stated “Ubisoft had three of the industry’s seven best-selling titles of 2014, proving that we can meet gamers’ ever-higher expectations for systemic open-world games, which offer more in-game freedom and allow players to create their own experiences. This performance once again demonstrates our teams’ exceptional and uniquely consistent ability to create blockbuster franchises, which enabled the Group to deliver a record financial performance in 2014-15 and lay solid foundations for its long-term development.”
Full-year sales for 2014-15 totaled €1,463.8 million, up 45.3% (or 41.6% at constant exchange rates) compared with the €1,007.1 million recorded for 2013-14.
Sales in the fourth quarter of 2014-15 came to €169.9 million versus €194.1 million in the corresponding prior-year period, representing a decrease of 12.4% (or 14.3% at constant exchange rates). Fourth-quarter 2014-15 sales were higher than the target of approximately €146.0 million issued when Ubisoft released its third-quarter sales figures.
Ubisoft’s sales performance in full-year 2014-15 reflects:
- The fact that three of its brands were among the seven best-sellers of 2014 (Assassin’s Creed Unity + Rogue, Far Cry 4, and Watch Dogs).
- A sharp increase in market share1, up by more than 3 points to 12.8%.
- A 96.8% surge in digital segment revenues, which reached €382.7 million and accounted for 26.1% of total sales (versus 19.3% in 2013-14). Digital distribution was the main driver of this growth, followed by mobile and sales of additional content.
- A robust back-catalog showing, with sales stable at €233.0 million.
Main income statement items
Gross profit represented a record 77.0% of sales (€1,126.7 million) in 2014-15, compared with 71.7% (€721.8 million) in 2013-14. This very strong year-on-year increase reflects the positive impact of the success of Ubisoft’s games and the increasing importance of the digital segment.
Non-IFRS operating income reached a record level in 2014-15, coming in at €170.7 million and exceeding the Group’s target of €165 million. The year-on-year swing from the €65.6 million non-IFRS operating loss reported for 2013-14 reflects the combined impact of the following:
- A €404.9 million rise in gross profit.
- A €147.5 million increase in R&D expenses to €573.5 million (39.2% of sales) from €426.1 million (42.3% of sales) in 2013-14.
- A €21.2 million increase in SG&A expenses to €382.5 million (26.1% of sales) from €361.3 million (35.9% of sales) in 2013-14:
− Variable marketing expenses represented 14.1% of sales (€206.1 million) compared with 20.2% (€204.4 million) in 2013-14.
− Structure costs corresponded to 12.1% of sales (€176.4 million) against 15.6% (€157.0 million).
Ubisoft recorded non-IFRS net income of €112.7 million for 2014-15, representing non-IFRS diluted earnings per share of €1.00, compared with a non-IFRS net loss of €49.3 million and a non-IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.46 for the previous year.
IFRS net income amounted to €87.0 million, representing IFRS diluted earnings per share of €0.77, versus an IFRS net loss of €65.5 million and an IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.61 in 2013-14.
Main cash flow statement and balance sheet items
Cash flows from operating activities represented a record net cash inflow of €232.4 million against a €120.1 million net outflow in 2013-14. This reflects a positive €173.6 million in cash flow from operations (versus a negative €79.3 million in 2013-14) and a €58.8 million decrease in working capital requirement (against a €40.8 million increase in 2013-14).
As of March 31, 2015, Ubisoft had net cash of €211.3 million compared with net debt of €12.7 million one year earlier.
Yves Guillemot stated “We have another very high-quality line-up for 2015-16, including new Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance® games, the hotly anticipated return of the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® franchise and the launch of a new high-potential creation, Tom Clancy’s The DivisionTM. Thanks to these new releases, very solid back-catalog and digital revenues, and favorable exchange rates, we expect to see a further improvement in profitability.“
He concluded by saying “We intend to continue pursuing our strategy of in-house creation of major franchises for the entertainment industry. Driven by ever more engaged communities, the ramp-up of our high-potential live services, and overall growth in the sector, we believe this strategy puts us in a strong position for the foreseeable future.”
Ubisoft is standing by its non-IFRS operating income target of at least €200 million for 2015-16, and it expects stable sales versus 2014-15. This performance will be led by:
- The upcoming releases of the latest opuses of the Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance franchises as well as Tom Clancy’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and another triple-A title that has not yet been announced. Overall revenue from newlyreleased games is expected to be lower than in 2014-15.
- An increase in back-catalog sales and digital segment revenues, propelled by further growth for digital distribution, Free-to-Play revenues and extra content.
- Favorable currency effects.
- Another increase in gross profit.
- Lower R&D expenses as a percentage of sales.
The Company expects its free cash flow to be negative due to the impact on working capital of the fourth-quarter releases of The Division and the above-mentioned new triple-A title.
The Group expects first-quarter 2015-16 sales to amount to approximately €80 million, compared with €360 million in the first quarter of 2014-15, which had seen the releases of Watch Dogs and Trials Fusion®.
Share buyback program
Ubisoft’s Board of Directors has approved the Company’s purchase of its own shares representing up to €100 million over a 24-month period. This approval falls within the scope of the share buyback program authorized by the Company’s shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of July 1, 2014 and used by the Board on the same date. This program will be implemented subject to the shareholders renewing the share buyback authorizations at the Annual General Meeting to be held on September 23, 2015. The shares purchased under this program will be canceled.
Recent significant events
Opening of a new Consumer Relationship Center (CRC): Based in Newcastle, UK, the CRC, operational seven days a week, is a hub for Ubisoft’s interactions with players in EMEA territories. While embracing the ‘games as a service’ model, having both the community managers and support teams working together is the goal for Ubisoft, in order to keep its communities continuously engaged and happy with their favorite brands and games.
Placement of a Schuldschein: Placement of a €200 million private placement Schuldschein. Taking advantage of the current market conditions, the very high take-up of the issue will broaden the Company’s investor base, diversify its sources of financing and speed up its growth.
Set up of a new equity Line: It replaces the prior line, signed in 2012 and that has expired without being used.
Contact Investor relations
SVP Investor Relations
+ 33 1 48 18 52 39
Non-IFRS financial information
Ubisoft considers that “Non-IFRS operating income/(loss)” and “Non-IFRS net income/(loss)” – which are measures that are not prepared strictly in accordance with IFRS – are relevant indicators of the Group’s operating and financial performance. Management uses them to run the Group’s business as they are the best reflection of its recurring performance and exclude the majority of non-operating and non-recurring items. A reconciliation between the IFRS and non-IFRS measures is provided in the appendices to this press release.
This statement may contain estimated financial data, information on future projects and transactions and future business results/performance. Such forward-looking data are provided for estimation purposes only. They are subject to market risks and uncertainties and may vary significantly compared with the actual results that will be published. The estimated financial data have been presented to the Board of Directors and have not been audited by the Statutory Auditors. (Additional information is specified in the most recent Ubisoft Registration Document filed on June 26, 2014 with the French Financial Markets Authority (l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers)).
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s video game series, Rayman and Far Cry. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2014-15 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,464 million. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
© 2011-2015 Ubisoft Entertainment. All rights Reserved. Just Dance, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Crew logo, Rayman, the character of Rayman, Imagine, Petz, Rabbids, Rocksmith logo, Galaxy Life, Trials Fusion, Tom Clancy’s, Rainbow Six, The Soldier Icon, The Division logo, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Far Cry 4 is based on Crytek’s original Far Cry directed by Cevat Yerli and powered by Crytek’s technology “CryEngine”. All creative works and elements from the POPTROPICA virtual world © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. and are used under license. All Rights Reserved. POPTROPICA® is a registered trademark of Pearson Education, Inc. in the USA and other countries, used under license. “MONOPOLY, BOGGLE, SCRABBLE, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, RISK, and CRANIUM are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. SCRABBLE, the associated logo, the design of the distinctive SCRABBLE brand game board, and the distinctive letter tile designs are trademarks of Hasbro in the United States and Canada. © 2014 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro to Ubisoft Entertainment. Games software
© 2014 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.” Tetris ® & © 1985~2015 Tetris Holding. Tetris logos, Tetris theme song and Tetriminos are trademarks of Tetris Holding. The Tetris trade dress is owned by Tetris Holding. Licensed to The Tetris Company. Game Design by Alexey Pajitnov. Original Logo Design by Roger Dean. All Rights Reserved. © 2014 Additional game content by Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Developed and published under license by The Tetris Company.
 Calendar 2014 – Source: NPD, GFK (North America, Europe, Australia and Brazil)
 Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (unaudited).