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Ubi sales up 32% in first half of FY 2009

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Ubisoft's announced figures for the first half of fiscal 2009, showing a 31.5 percent increase in sales compared to the corresponding previous period, up to €344 million.

Second-quarter sales totalled €175 million, an increase of 37.3 percent on the €127 million posted for the second quarter of 2007-08.

Ubi never talks about stuff like "profit," so don't expect to see any mention of it in the press release after the break.

Ubisoft® reports first-half 2008-09 sales

Paris, October 23, 2008 - Today, Ubisoft reported its sales for the fiscal half-year ended
September 30, 2008.

Sales for the first half of 2008-09 came to €344 million, up 31.5%, or 38.3% at constant exchange rates, compared with the €261 million recorded for the same period of 2007-08. Second-quarter sales totaled €175 million, representing an increase of 37.3% (43.6% at constant exchange rates) on the €127 million posted for the second quarter of 2007-08. This performance - which exceeded the guidance of approximately €160 million issued when Ubisoft released its sales figures for first-quarter 2008-09 - was primarily attributable to:

- The successful launches of Brothers in Arms Hell’s HighwayTM and SoulCaliburTMIV (Europe) for the Xbox360TM and PLAYSTATION®3.

- Solid sales turned in by casual games including new titles such as Imagine® Teacher, My Secret World by ImagineTM and PlayZoneTM Sports Party.

Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Ubisoft delivered a robust performance in the second fiscal quarter against an uncertain environment. We are carefully and regularly monitoring changes in the economic context in order to factor them into our market forecasts and financial targets. Going forward, we are confident that the video game industry will be able to continue its dynamic growth in 2008 and 2009, buoyed by the increase in the installed base for consoles coupled with the steady influx of new consumers. At the same time, we believe that thanks to the diversity and quality of Ubisoft’s games line-up - which caters to both hardcore and casual gamers - we are ideally positioned to continue to win market share in the coming years. Holiday 2008 will be another demonstration of this, as we are introducing a gaming experience for everyone with the following titles:

- Far Cry® 2 and Tom Clancy’s End WarTM for hard-core gamers.
- Rayman Raving Rabbids® 3 and the PlayZone range, designed to be played by the whole family on the Wii.
- Prince of Persia® for adventure-seeking gamers, and Shaun White for sport and snowboarding fans.
- The Petz® and Imagine ranges, designed for girls, and Jake PowerTM for boys as well as the ENER-G sport range dedicated to the US market.
- The Planet RescueTM range, which will give children the opportunity to take an interest in protecting the environment, as well as the MyCoach range which will enable adults to both learn and look after their well-being while playing.”

Increase expected for first-half current operating income
Based on currently available information, Ubisoft expects current operating income before stock options to represent a marked increase compared with the 3.4% of sales recorded for the first half of 2007-08. This rise mainly reflects the leverage effect on structure costs related to the strong increase in sales, as well as the favorable impact of the “Games for Everyone” range which requires a low level of R&D expenditure.

Sales for the third quarter of 2008-09
The third quarter of 2008-09 will be the most important and diversified quarter in Ubisoft’s history, with the following main releases:
- Far Cry 2 for the Xbox360TM, PC and PLAYSTATION®3
- Prince of Persia for Xbox360TM, PC, PLAYSTATION®3 and Nintendo DSTM
- Shaun White for the WiiTM, Xbox360TM, PC, PLAYSTATION®3, Nintendo DSTM, PSPTM and
- Rayman Raving Rabbids 3 for the WiiTM and Nintendo DS
- Tom Clancy’s EndWar for the Xbox360TM, PC and PLAYSTATION®3, Nintendo DSTM and PSPTM,
- New casual games for the Nintendo DSTM and WiiTM for the Petz, Imagine, MyCoach,
ENER-G (US), Jake Power, Planet Rescue, and PlayZone ranges.
Consequently, the Group expects third-quarter 2008-09 sales to come in at around €500 million, up 11% on the same period of 2007-08.

Update on the games release schedule
In view of the good first-half trends and the positive outlook for the third quarter, Ubisoft has decided that AnnoTM as well as the as-yet unannounced franchise which were previously scheduled to be released in 2008-09 will now bolster the line-up for 2009-10.

Targets raised for full-year 2008-09
Based on solid first-half sales performance combined with a more favorable dollar impact and the positive third-quarter outlook, Ubisoft is raising its targets for full-year 2008-09. The fullyear sales guidance is now around €1,050 million compared with the previous figure of around €1,020 million, and the guidance for current operating income before stock options has been revised upward to at least 13% of sales versus the previous target of at least 12%.

Recent highlights
Market share: In the first nine calendar months of 2008, Ubisoft was the number 4 independent publisher in the United States with 5.1% market share (compared with number 4 and 5.6% one year earlier); number 3 in Europe with 8.1% market share (compared with number 3 and 7.9%); number 2 in France with 7.5% market share (compared with number 3 and 7.5%); number 4 in the United Kingdom with 8.4% market share (compared with number 3 and 9.0%); and number 3 in Germany with 7.6% market share (compared with number 3 and 6.9%).

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