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Ubisoft closes 2020-21 with $2.7 billion in net bookings as flagship franchises set records

Ubisoft has wrapped up the 2020-21 fiscal year with record revenue and engagement for many of its best-known properties like Just Dance, Assassin's Creed, and Rainbow Six.

Ubisoft has wrapped up the 2020-21 fiscal year with record revenue and engagement for many of its best-known properties like Just Dance, Assassin's Creed, and Rainbow Six.

The French game company cites record yearly revenue for Assassin's Creed as a franchise, beating a record set in 2012-13 by an additional 50 percent during the financial year ending March 31, 2021. That highlight is named alongside unspecified 'spectacular growth' in the Just Dance franchise, and robust reach for games under the larger Tom Clancy umbrella.

Rainbow Six, the Tom Clancy series that captures Rainbow Six Siege and the upcoming Rainbow Six Quarantine, boasts double-digit player acquisition and is, according to internal estimates, one of the top 10 most played games of 2020.

Elsewhere in the Tom Clancy's, Ubisoft notes that The Division series has now seen 40 million unique players, even ahead of Ubisoft's big transmedia push for The Division universe.

"We also relied on a deep and diversified back-catalog which, again, outperformed our expectations and represented for the third consecutive year more than 50% of our total net bookings, progressively cementing the recurring profile of our business. Our assets have never been so strong," reads a statement from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

"Alongside these successes, we have pursued the transformation of our organization that we had initiated 18 months ago to ensure Ubisoft is positioned to meaningfully grow audience and recurring revenues over the coming years."

Looking at the numbers, the French game company reported net bookings of 2.24 billion (~$2.73 billion) and (when tallied according to the IFRS accounting standard) operating income of289.4 million (~$352.1 million) for the year ending March 31, 2021.

In terms of net bookings, that's a 46.1 percent increase year-over-year that breaks down to 1.61 billion (~$1.96 billion) in digital net bookings, 780 million (~$948.9 million) net bookings from player recurring income like in-game purchases, and 1.29 billion (~$1.57 billion) for just back-catalog net bookings. Ubisoft's Q4 is responsible for 484.9 million (~$589.9 million) of the full-year net bookings, up 16.2 percent from last year's 417.4 million (~$507.8 million).

For a deeper look at operating income for the year, Ubisoft also includes its non-IFRS operating income and a note that it considers that non-IFRS income a better reflection of the company's performance. According to those numbers, Ubisoft reported (non-IFRS) operating income of 473.3 million (~$575.8 million) for the full year, up 21 percent from the 34.2 million (~$41.6 million) reported during 2019-20.

Looking into the 2021-22 year, Ubisoft expects Q1 net bookings to land around 320 million ($389.3 million), while it expects single-digit growth in net bookings and non-IFRS operating income between 420 and 500 million (~$510.9 million and ~$608.3 million) as Skull and Bones is delayed into the 2022-23 financial year. 

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