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Ubisoft reports better-than-expected sales thanks to Watch Dogs

The company beat its modest sales goal for the second fiscal quarter thanks to a growing digital games business and ongoing strong sales of Watch Dogs, which has shipped 9 million units to retail.
French publisher Ubisoft has announced its sales figures for the first half of its 2015 fiscal year, and things seem to be going well. The company beat its modest sales target for the second fiscal quarter thanks in large part to ongoing strong sales of Watch Dogs (which has shipped more than 9 million copies to retail) and the company's growing digital distribution business. Ubisoft reportedly reaped €484.2 million ($610.6 million USD) in sales during the six months ending September 30, 2014 [PDF]. That's a jump of roughly 65 percent (given constant exchange rates) over the €293 million ($370 million USD) the company reported in sales during the same period a year prior. However, the lion's share of those sales were brought in during the company's first fiscal 2015 quarter (April-June 2014), when Ubisoft saw a huge boost from the remarkable sales success of Watch Dogs. In the company's second fiscal quarter (which ended on September 30, 2014) Ubisoft actually reported a year-over-year drop in sales revenue to €124.1 million ($156.5 million USD), down roughly 42.5 percent from the €217.7 million ($274.5 million USD) it brought in during the same period last year. That's still quite a bit better than the very modest €85 million ($107.3 million USD) second-quarter sales target Ubisoft set for itself back in July, when it announced its big first-quarter sales numbers. Under French accounting law, Ubisoft is not required to publicly report its actual profits until the end of the fiscal year. The company also trumpeted significant growth in digital sales, which grew by just over 90 percent year-over-year and accounted for over a quarter of the company's total sales revenue in the first half of fiscal 2015. This time last year Ubisoft was struggling to prepare for the console transition amid delays of Watch Dogs and The Crew, betting its short-term financial health on expanding its digital sales business and its catalog of open-world games. Those bets seem to be paying off; the company is not adjusting its forecast for the full year, holding fast to a sales target of €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion USD) for the 2015 fiscal year as it looks forward to the launch of titles like Assassins Creed Unity, Far Cry 4 and Watch Dogs for Wii U in the third quarter of the fiscal year.

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