- ▪ Record net bookings of €1,001.0 million, exceeding the Group’s target
▪ Net bookings for the first nine months of fiscal 2020-21
- The leading publisher1 in terms of unit sales on all platforms combined in 2020
▪ New-generation (Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S)1: Ubisoft ranked second-leading publisher – with Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla, Watch Dogs®: Legion, and Immortals Fenyx RisingTM all in the top 7 best sellers.
▪ Switch1: Ubisoft top third-party publisher in 2020, with Just Dance 2020® the 8th best seller
▪ Record number of unique players in a quarter
▪ Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Record revenue2 for the franchise
▪ Just Dance 2021: Net bookings up sharply compared with Just Dance 2020
▪ Continued strong momentum for the back-catalog in the quarter:
– Robust growth for Brawlhalla®, Mario + Rabbids® Kingdom Battle, Far Cry® 5, The Crew® 2 and Anno® 1800
– A more than 200% surge for Just Dance back-catalog
– Steep rise in player engagement for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Origins
– Solid acquisition for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege, with some 70 million players registered since its launch
▪ Targets tightened for 2020-21: Net bookings of between €2,220m and €2,280m and non-IFRS operating income of between €450m and €500m
▪ Ubisoft ESG commitment rewarded with “Prime” status by ISS ESG
Today, Ubisoft released its sales figures for the third quarter of fiscal 2020-21, i.e. the three months ended December 31, 2020.
Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said "Our strategy continues to bear fruits. We achieved the strongest quarter in Ubisoft’s history, by far, thanks to the quality of our releases and the depth of our catalog. We are immensely proud of our teams who, in exceptionally challenging times, launched four great titles across multiple platforms and simultaneously continued to enrich our Live services. This is an unparalleled achievement and they showed remarkable adaptability and resilience. Our ability to execute at such a high level of quality demonstrates the power of our production model and the sustainability of our organization."
Yves Guillemot continued, "In a context of increasing engagement and very supportive industry trends, the first nine months of the year confirmed that we are continuing to move towards an increasingly pronounced recurrence of our revenues. Therefore, we expect our highly profitable back-catalog to account for an even larger share of our business going forward."
Frederick Duguet, Chief Financial Officer, commented "The quarter was marked by the success of Just Dance 2021 and excellent reviews for Immortal Fenix Rising and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The latter delivered record sales and ranked, with Watch Dogs: Legion, among the top four best sellers on the new generation consoles. Our back-catalog also turned in a remarkable performance, with record momentum for our Assassin’s Creed titles, solid growth of the Far Cry franchise and strong increase in engagement and revenues for the The Crew brand and our Freeto- Play game Brawlhalla. We’re also reaping the benefits of the Switch’s huge success and our position as leading third-party publisher on the platform thanks to, among others, our Just Dance games and Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. The depth and breadth of our catalog, which goes beyond the brands mentioned, provides us with ever-greater visibility and continues to be a strong driver of profitability."
Yves Guillemot concluded: "Ubisoft’s model is mostly based on internally-created, wholly-owned IP and assets. It is a tried and tested model that has enabled us to build one of the broadest and most diversified portfolios of successful franchises and remarkable shareholder value. The benefits and opportunities offered by this strategy are growing in a context of strongly rising video game brands value and of AAA quality asset scarcity due to higher barriers to entry. This virtuous momentum confirms our confidence in our ability to carry on generating strong value for our teams, our players and our shareholders over the long term."
The Group presents 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. The definitions of the non-IFRS indicators are appended to this press release.
Sales and net bookings
IFRS 15 sales for the third quarter of 2020-21 came to €965.1 million, up 131.9% (138.0% at constant exchange rates3) compared with the €416.2 million generated in third-quarter 2019-20.
For the first nine months of 2020-21, IFRS 15 sales amounted to €1,722.1 million, 54.6% higher (57.4% at constant exchange rates) than the €1,113.7 million figure for the first nine months of 2019-20.
Net bookings for third-quarter 2020-21 totaled €1,001.0 million, exceeding the Group’s target of between €860.0 million and €960.0 million, and representing an increase of 119.7% (125.5% at constant exchange rates) compared with the €455.5 million recorded for the third quarter of 2019-20.
For the first nine months of 2020-21, net bookings stood at €1,755.7 million, up 57.2% (60.1% at constant exchange rates) on the €1,116.6 million generated in the first nine months of 2019-20.
Net bookings for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 are expected to come in at between €464 million and €524 million.
The Company is tightening its targets in order to reflect both its strong third-quarter performance and the recently announced updates to the launch schedule for certain games and additional content:
– Net bookings of between €2,220 million and €2,280 million vs between €2,200 million an €2,350 million previously.
– Non-IFRS operating income of between €450 million and €500 million, leaving the midpoint unchanged vs the previous target of between €420m and €520m.
Recent significant events:
Ubisoft awarded "Prime" status by ISS ESG, one of the world’s leading rating agencies for responsible investing policies, for its environmental, social and governance work. "Prime" status is awarded to companies with the best ESG performance in their sector.
Ubisoft announces collaboration with Lucasfilm Games on a new Star Wars™ game: Ubisoft has announced it is collaborating with Lucasfilm Games on developing a new story-driven open-world video game set in the beloved Star Wars galaxy. Headed by Massive Entertainment, Ubisoft’s critically-acclaimed AAA studio based in Malmö, Sweden, the project will make the most of Massive’s cutting-edge technologies, including the Snowdrop engine, to deliver a groundbreaking Star Wars adventure.
Appointment of Raashi Sikka as VP Global Diversity & Inclusion: Ubisoft has named Raashi Sikka as VP Global Diversity & Inclusion, completing a pivotal milestone as the Company works to strengthen its culture and to improve diversity and inclusion efforts. She will champion, promote, and develop inclusion strategies and diversity initiatives across the group’s global footprint and within all functions. Raashi’s appointment took effect on February 1, 2021.
Appointment of Belén Essioux-Trujillo to Ubisoft’s Board of Directors: Ubisoft’s Board of Directors has appointed Belén Essioux-Trujillo as a new independent director, following a recommendation from the Board’s Nomination, Compensation and Governance Committee and subject to ratification by the next general shareholders meeting. Belén will bring to Ubisoft’s Board the solid experience in human resources that she has developed in large international companies.
Ubisoft successfully carried out a €600 million issue of 7-year bonds with an annual coupon of 0.878%. The order book reached an amount approaching €3bn and the issue was nearly 5 times oversubscribed. The net proceeds of the bond will be used for general corporate purposes as well as for financing potential future acquisitions. The offering has enabled Ubisoft to extend the maturity profile of its debt at an attractive cost compared with existing financing instruments.
1 Data for the 2020 calendar year based on number of units sold as per official panels (NPD for NCSA and GSD/GfK for EMEA)
2 Total consumer spending
3 Sales at constant exchange rates are calculated by applying to the data for the period under review the average exchange rates used for the same period of the previous year.
This press release may contain estimated financial data, information on future projects and transactions and future financial results/performance. Such forward-looking data are provided for information 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 not been audited by the Statutory Auditors. (Additional information is provided in the most recent Ubisoft Universal Registration Document filed on June 5, 2020 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, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch Dogs®, and Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon®, Rainbow Six and The Division. 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 2019-20 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €1,534 million. To learn more, please visit: www.ubisoftgroup.com.
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