Group’s outperformance once again buoyed by its strategy of extending game experiences and by new high-quality offerings
H1 2017-18: TARGET EXCEEDED, WITH A STRONG INCREASE IN SALES AND A SHARP POSITIVE SWING IN OPERATING INCOME
- First-half sales up 65.7% to €466.2 million
– Second-quarter sales: €264.2 million, versus a target of approximately €190.0 million
- Growth driven by Mario + Rabbids®: Kingdom Battle, Rainbow Six® Siege, Ghost Recon® Wildlands and For Honor®
- Digital revenue up 69.1% to €342.6 million
– Very sharp rise in PRI: up 82.9% to €174.5 million
- Back-catalog sales up 47.9% to €379.4 million
– Confirmation of the increasingly recurring profile of the Group’s business
- Non-IFRS operating income of €3.1 million, a significant positive swing compared with the
€61.8 million non-IFRS operating loss recorded for first-half 2016-17
- Improvement in non-IFRS cash flows from operations, representing a net outflow of €83.6 million versus €180.2 million in first-half 2016-17
ASSASSIN’S CREED® ORIGINS SALES UP 100%
TARGETS3 FOR FULL-YEAR 2017-18 AND 2018-19 CONFIRMED
Paris, November 7, 2017 – Today, Ubisoft released its sales and earnings figures for the six months ended September 30, 2017 (first-half 2017-18).
Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We continue to offer players outstanding game experiences with unrivalled variety – ranging from Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle to Assassin’s Creed Origins, and including South Park: The Fractured but Whole. In addition to these new releases, players are engaging with a large amount of additional high-quality content which provides them with longer-term entertainment. This includes Blood Orchid, the recent major update to Rainbow Six Siege, and Ghost War, the highly-acclaimed PvP mode for Ghost Recon Wildlands. And it doesn’t stop there: in the coming weeks we will notably release Resistance, a massive free update to The Division, and South Park: Phone Destroyer, a free-toplay mobile game. Our commitment to providing high-quality game experiences and supporting them for the long term is driven by the importance we place on our player communities. This winning content strategy drove a 66% surge in our sales for the first half of 2017-18 – largely exceeding our targets – as well as a sharp increase in our earnings.”
Guillemot concluded “The quality of our new releases is the result of our effort to transform our model and make our business more profitable and recurring. Given longer development lead times, our talents can fully express their creative visions and therefore maximize the potential of our games. The success of these releases – notably the 100%2 sales growth for Assassin’s Creed Origins – combined with solid live operations demonstrate that Ubisoft is ideally positioned to deliver further growth in future fiscal years, both in terms of financial performance and shareholder value.”
Unless stated otherwise, all of the figures in this press release correspond to non-IFRS data, which is adjusted to exclude non-operating items (as defined in section 2.5.1. of the Fiscal 2017 Registration Document). The Group presents these indicators – which are not prepared strictly in accordance with IFRS – as it considers that they are the best reflection of its operating and financial performance. A reconciliation table between the IFRS consolidated income statement and the non-IFRS consolidated income statement for first-half 2017-18 are provided in an appendix to this press release.
Income statement and key financial data
|In € millions||H1 2017-18||%||H1 2016-17||%|
|Non-IFRS R&D expenses||(186.5)||-40.0%||(123.8)||-44.0%|
|Non-IFRS Selling expenses||(138.6)||-29.7%||(113.4)||-40.3%|
|Non-IFRS G&A expenses||(61.9)||-13.3%||(51.0)||-18.1%|
|Total non-IFRS SG&A expenses||(200.5)||-43.0%||(164.4)||-58.4%|
|Non-IFRS operating income/(loss)||3.1||0.7%||(61.8)||-22.0%|
|IFRS operating income/(loss)||(34.4)||(90.3)|
|Non-IFRS diluted EPS (in €)||0.16||(0.32)|
|IFRS diluted EPS (in €)||(0.19)||(0.59)|
|Non-IFRS cash flows from operating activities*||(81.4)||9.2|
|R&D investment expenditure**||(322.8)||(286.7)|
|Net cash/(debt) position||(186.2)||37.7|
* Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (not reviewed)
** Including royalties but excluding future commitments
Sales for the first half of 2017-18 came to €466.2 million, up 65.7% (or 67.4% at constant exchange rates) compared with the €281.4 million recorded for first-half 2016-17.
Sales in the second quarter of 2017-18 totaled €264.2 million versus €142.2 million in the corresponding prior-year period, representing an increase of 85.8% (or 88.6% at constant exchange rates). This second-quarter showing is higher than the target of approximately €190.0 million issued when Ubisoft released its sales figures for the first quarter of 2017-18.
Main income statement items
Gross margin rose to 83.7% of sales and €390.1 million in absolute value terms (compared with 80.5% and €226.4 million in the first six months of 2016-17).
Ubisoft ended the first half of 2017-18 with non-IFRS operating income of €3.1 million versus a non-IFRS operating loss of €61.8 million in first-half 2016-17. This positive year-on-year swing reflects the following:
- A €163.7 million increase in gross margin.
- A €62.7 million rise in R&D expenses to €186.5 million (40.0% of sales) from €123.8 million (44.0%) in first-half 2016-17.
- A €36.1 million increase in SG&A expenses to €200.5 million (43.0% of sales) from €164.4 million (58.4%) in the first six months of 2016-17:
− Variable marketing expenses amounted to €87.9 million (18.9% of sales) compared with €71.7 million (25.5%) in first-half 2016-17.
− Structure costs totaled €112.6 million (24.1% of sales) versus €92.7 million (32.9%) in first-half 2016-17.
Ubisoft reported non-IFRS net income of €19.4 million for the first half of 2017-18, representing non-IFRS diluted earnings per share of €0.16, compared with a non-IFRS net loss of €35.9 million for first-half 2016-17, representing a non-IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.32.
The IFRS net loss for the first half of 2017-18 came to €20.8 million, representing an IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.19, compared with an IFRS net loss of €66.1 million and an IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.59 in the first half of 2016-17.
Main cash flow statement and balance sheet items
Cash flows from non-IFRS operating activities represented a net outflow of €81.4 million versus a €9.2 million net inflow in first-half 2016-17. This negative swing reflects the combined impact of an improvement in non-IFRS cash flows from operations, which amounted to a negative €83.6 million versus a negative €180.2 million in the first six months of 2016-17, and a €2.2 million decrease in non-IFRS working capital requirement (compared with a €189.5 million decrease in first-half 2016-17).
On September 30, 2017, Ubisoft had a net debt position of €186.2 million versus an €80.4 million net debt position on March 31, 2017
Ubisoft is standing by its full-year targets for 2017-18, i.e. sales of around €1,700.0 million and non-IFRS operating income of approximately €270.0 million.
Sales for the third quarter of 2017-18
Ubisoft expects third-quarter 2017-18 sales to come in at approximately €630 million, up by around 19% year on year.
The third quarter of 2017-18 will see the following main releases:
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (PC, Playstation®4, Xbox one)
- Just Dance® 2018 (Playstation®3, Playstation®4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch™)
- South Park™: The Fractured but Whole™ (PC, Playstation®4, Xbox One)
- Order & Havoc, the fourth season of For Honor® (PC, Playstation®4, Xbox One)
- The mobile game, South Park™: Phone Destroyer™ (Google play, App store)
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Ghost War mode (PC, Playstation®4, Xbox One)
- The Operation White Noise expansion for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (PC,
Playstation®4, Xbox One)
Targets for 2018-19
Ubisoft is also standing by its targets for 2018-19, namely sales of around €2,100.0 million, nonIFRS operating income of approximately €440.0 million, and free cash flow of approximately €300.0 million.
Recent significant events
Share buyback program: Ubisoft has launched a share buyback program under which it may repurchase up to 4 million of its own shares over a period running from October 5, 2017 to December 29, 2017. The repurchased shares will be canceled.
Annual General Meeting of September 22, 2017: The Company’s shareholders expressed overwhelming support for Ubisoft’s management and strategy by approving all of the ordinary resolutions put forward at the Meeting, including for:
- the re-election of the directors Didier Crespel, Laurence Hubert-Moy and Christian, Claude and Michel Guillemot;
- the election of two new independent directors: Corinne Fernandez-Handelsman and Virginie Haas, meaning that the Board now has a majority of independent directors (6 out of 11 members).
The shareholders also approved all of the extraordinary resolutions at the Meeting (including a resolution giving employees the possibility of taking part in capital increases) apart from the thirty-first resolution. The thirty-first resolution – which concerned a program to grant free shares to employees – was not approved due to Vivendi’s systematic abstention, as was the case in 2016.
Extension of Ubisoft’s partnership with the government of Quebec until 2027: In addition to Ubisoft’s announced expansion blueprint for Quebec, which includes plans to invest an additional 780 million CAD and create 1,000 new jobs by 2027, the Group has announced that it intends to open a new studio in Saguenay, which will be devoted to online development.
Opening of a new studio in Stockholm: In August 2017, Ubisoft announced that it was planning to increase its creative capacities in Sweden with the opening of a studio in Stockholm. The new studio will be led by Patrick Bach, fresh from 15 years with EA’s DICE studio in Stockholm, most recently holding the position of General Manager. The Stockholm teams will collaborate with Massive Entertainment – a Ubisoft studio in Malmö, Sweden – on the development of AAA games including the recently-announced Avatar game.
Opening of a new studio in Bordeaux: With four studios already established in Paris, Lyon, Annecy, and Montpellier, Bordeaux will collaborate on games whose development is led by these studios, which include franchises like Just Dance, Steep, and Ghost Recon Wildlands.
SVP Investor Relations
+ 33 1 48 18 52 39
Senior Director of Corporate Public Relations + 33 1 48 18 24 03
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 and approved by the Board of Directors on 05/16/17 and have not been audited by the Statutory Auditors. (Additional information is specified in the most recent Ubisoft Registration Document filed on July 21, 2017 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, 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 2016-17 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,460 million. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com
© 2017 Ubisoft Entertainment. All rights Reserved. Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are registered or unregistered trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. © 2017 South Park Digital Studios LLC. All Rights Reserved. South Park and all elements thereof © 2017 Comedy Partners. All Rights Reserved. Comedy Central, South Park, and all related titles, logos, and characters are trademarks of Comedy Partners. Game software © 2017 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Nintendo properties are licensed to Ubisoft Entertainment by Nintendo. SUPER MARIO characters © Nintendo.
 Player Recurring Investment includes sales of digital items, DLC, season passes, subscriptions, and advertising
 In comparison to Assassin’s Creed® Syndicate, on a comparable basis (sources: units, internal estimates based on 10 days of sales) 3 Targets based on currently-applicable IFRS
 Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (not reviewed)