UBISOFT REPORTS FULL-YEAR 2015-16 SALES AND EARNINGS FIGURES

§ Sales and earnings exceed revised targets 

  • Sales: €1,394 million

 – Non-IFRS operating income: €169 million

  • A further rise in profitability: 12.1%
  • Non-IFRS diluted EPS: 1.13€
  • Stronger-than-expected performances from Far Cry® Primal and Tom Clancy’s The DivisionTM
  • Significant increase in player engagement levels, boosting the digital segment’s sales weighting to a record 32%
  • Back-catalog sales up sharply, representing 25% of total sales, confirming an increasingly recurring financial profile

§ 2016-17 targets confirmed

Paris, May 12, 2016 – Today, Ubisoft released its sales and earnings figures for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, stated “We ended fiscal 2015-16 on a very positive note, having effectively executed our plan: the performances delivered by The Division and Far Cry Primal exceeded our expectations, we continued our major come-back in the multiplayer segment and we saw a significant increase in player engagement levels for our games. The Division currently has 9.5 million registered users, and active players are playing the game an average of three hours[1] per day. These successes resulted in our digital segment outperforming our targets for the fiscal year and positively impacted our profitability.”

Guillemot went on to say “Since our initial public offering 20 years ago, we have built one of the world’s leading players in the entertainment industry and have created significant value for our shareholders, with a 14-fold increase in the Company’s share price. Over the past few years, we have considerably strengthened our portfolio of owned brands. For example, we have tripled the audience for Far Cry, doubled it for Rainbow Six, and launched The Division and Watch Dogs which were the first and third-largest releases ever for a new video game brand. In parallel, we have increased the sales weighting of our digital segment to 32%, primarily through organic growth.

Thanks to these repeated successes, we have demonstrated our capacity to effectively implement and execute our strategic plan. As a result, we are now entering a new phase of expansion and strong value creation for our shareholders, with 2018-19 operating margin targeted to reach 20% and free cash flow expected to come in at around €300 million.” Non-IFRS income statement and key financial data

In € millions2015-16%2014-15 restated*%
Sales                                                                          1,394.0                                  1,463.8                 Gross profit                                                                   1,088.9            78.1%              1,126.7            77.0% R&D expenses                                                               (500.3)          -35.9%               (573.5)          -39.2%          Selling expenses                                                        (304.5)          -21.8%               (284.1)          -19.4%          General and administrative expenses                            (115.1)            -8.3%                 (98.6)            -6.7% Total SG&A expenses (419.6) -30.1% (382.7) -26.1% Non-IFRS operating income 169.0 12.1% 170.5 11.6% Non-IFRS net income                                                   129.0                                      112.6                 Non-IFRS diluted earnings per share                           1.13                                        1.00                
Cash flows from operating activities**                  (148.8)                                      232.4                
R&D investment expenditure***                                      586.8                                      537.3                
Net (debt)/cash position                                           (41.7)                                      211.3                
*Restated to reflect the impact of IFRIC 21. ** Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry 

players (unaudited). *** Including royalties but excluding future commitments.  

Sales

Full-year sales for 2015-16 totaled €1,394.0 million, down 4.8% (or 10.7 % at constant exchange rates) compared with the €1,463.8 million recorded for 2014-15 but higher than the recently revised target of €1,360.0 million. 

Sales in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 came to €624.9 million versus €169.9 million in the corresponding prior-year period, representing a jump of 267.7% (or 250.3% at constant exchange rates).

Highlights from 2015-16 include:

  • Placing three games (Tom Clancy’s The Division, Far Cry Primal, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege) among the five best-sellers[2] for the first three months of calendar 2016.
  • The record-breaking releases2 of Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry Primal, which exceeded expectations and were the industry’s most successful new videogame launch ever and the best performance ever for a game released in the month of February, respectively.
  • Success of Ubisoft’s multiplayer strategy aimed at increasing player engagement: 
    • Tom Clancy’s The Division attained very high player engagement levels, with currently a total of 9.5 million registered users, and active players playing the game an average of three hours per day. 
    • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege doubled its audience. Daily active users (DAU) is at 60% of peak DAU four months after launch – a remarkable performance compared with industry standards3 and a clear illustration of the exceptional retention power of the game’s multiplayer mode. 
  • The digital segment amounted to €446.7 million, up 16.7%, and accounted for

32.0% of total sales (26.1% in 2014-15) compared with a target of around 30%. 

  • A 45.6% rise in back-catalog sales to €354.6 million, led by sustained sales from franchises as well as digital revenues. The back-catalog represented 25.4% of total sales in 2015-16, confirming an increasingly recurring financial profile.

Main income statement items

Gross profit increased to 78.1% as a percentage of sales (versus 77.0% in 2014-15) but contracted to €1,088.9 million from €1,126.7 million in absolute value terms. 

Non-IFRS operating income came in at €169.0 million (€170.5 million in 2014-15), exceeding the Group’s revised target of €150 million.

The year-on-year change in non-IFRS operating income reflects the following:

  • A €37.8 million decrease in gross profit.
  • A €73.2 million reduction in R&D expenses to €500.3 million (35.9% of sales) from €573.5 million (39.2% of sales) in 2014-15, primarily due to the fact that (i) five AAA titles were released in 2014-15 (including Assassin’s Creed® Rogue) compared with four in 2015-16, and (ii) two major titles – Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry Primal – were released towards the end of the fiscal year.
  • A €36.9 million increase in SG&A expenses to €419.6 million (30.1% of sales) from €382.7 million (26.1% of sales) in 2014-15:  

− Variable marketing expenses amounted to €217.3 million (15.6% of sales) compared with €206.1 million (14.1% of sales) in 2014-15. The lower figures for 2014-15 reflect the fact that a portion of the marketing expenses for Watch Dogs was incurred in 2013-14.

− Structure costs totaled €202.2 million (14.5% of sales) versus €176.6 million (12.1% of sales) in 2014-15, with one third of the year-on-year increase due to currency effects.

Ubisoft recorded non-IFRS net income of €129.0 million for 2015-16, representing nonIFRS diluted earnings per share of €1.13, compared with non-IFRS net income of €112.6 million and non-IFRS diluted earnings per share of €1.00 for the previous year.

IFRS net income amounted to €93.4 million, representing IFRS diluted earnings per share of €0.82, versus IFRS net income of €86.8 million and IFRS diluted earnings per share of €0.77 in 2014-15.

The average tax rate was 24% after taking into consideration the upcoming amendments to the income tax rate in France on temporary differences.

Main cash flow statement[3] and balance sheet items 

Cash flows from operating activities represented a net outflow of €148.8 million compared with a net inflow of €232.4 million in 2014-15. This reflects a €104.5 million cash flow from operations (versus €173.5 million in 2014-15) and a €253.3 million increase in working capital requirement (against a €58.9 million decrease in 2014-15) due to the release of two major titles – Tom Clancy’s The Division and Far Cry Primal – towards the end of the fiscal year. Free cash flow before working capital requirement was positive, coming in at €61.8 million.

At March 31, 2016 Ubisoft had net debt of €41.7 million compared with net cash of €211.3 million one year earlier, as the Company bought back 3,488,214 shares during the year for €79.3 million. 

Outlook

Sales for the first quarter of 2016-17

The Group expects first-quarter 2016-17 sales to amount to approximately €125.0 million, up 29% on first-quarter 2015-16.

Full-year 2016-17

Ubisoft is standing by its targets for full-year 2016-17, namely sales of around €1,700 million, non-IFRS operating income of approximately €230 million, and solid free cash flow generation. 

Sales growth for the fiscal year will be driven by:

  • A rise in revenues from new games releases, with a larger number of AAA title releases (five compared with four),
  • Further strong growth for the back-catalog which is expected to account for around 30% of total sales, fueled by the success of Tom Clancy’s The Division, Far Cry Primal and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege,
  • Another sharp increase in recurring digital revenues, with the digital segment representing over 35% of total sales.

Recent significant events

Release of Hungry Shark® World: More than 10 million[1] downloads in less than 6 days, making it the world’s second-biggest release of the year. 

Presentation of the three-year plan: On February 18, 2016, Ubisoft presented its financial targets for 2018-19, which correspond to sales of approximately €2,200 million, non-IFRS operating margin of 20%, and free cash flow of around €300 million.

Appointment of Didier Crespel as Lead Independent Director: Following a proposal from the Appointments Committee, Ubisoft’s Board of Directors decided to create the role of Lead Independent Director, and appointed Didier Crespel to fill this new position. In this role, Mr. Crespel will act as the main point of contact for shareholders on all matters under the Board’s responsibility and will keep the Board informed of any such contacts.

Unveiling of Eagle FlightTM: This virtual reality game – which gives players the chance to soar over Paris – will be available on the main virtual reality platforms, including PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive for PC in 2016.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures: Appointment of Gérard Guillemot as CEO. Gerard has more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry. His detailed knowledge of Ubisoft, experience managing creative teams and expertise in marketing and publishing makes him an ideal choice. He also has been a long-time proponent of pushing Ubisoft’s brands into new entertainment mediums, and as the spearhead of that strategy, Ubisoft Motion Pictures is a natural fit.

Contact

Investor relations                                                                

Jean-Benoît Roquette

SVP Investor Relations

+ 33 1 48 18 52 39

Jean-benoit.roquette@ubisoft.com

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.

Disclaimer

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 July 2, 2015 with the French Financial Markets Authority (l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers)).

About Ubisoft

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, Watch_Dogs, 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 2015-16 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,394 million. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.

© 2016 Ubisoft Entertainment. All rights Reserved. Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, The Eagle Flight Logo, the character of Rayman, Tom Clancy’s, Rainbow Six, The Division logo, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Far Cry Primal is based on Crytek’s original Far Cry directed by Cevat Yerli. RISK is a trademark of Hasbro and is used with permission.© 2016 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro to Ubisoft Entertainment. Games software © 2016 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Hungry Shark is a trademark of Future Games of London. Future Games of London is a Ubisoft Entertainment company.


[1] As at May 8, 2016

[2] Sources: NPD, GFK, and internal estimates 3 Source: DFC Intelligence

[3] Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (unaudited) 

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