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Ubisoft Profits Slip In First Half Results

French publisher Ubisoft's profits slipped in the company’s first half year results, despite an increase in sales of 32 percent. Early sales data suggests a solid start for Shaun White Snowboarding -- but a slower one for EndWar.
French publisher Ubisoft's profits slipped in the company’s first half year financial results, despite an increase in sales of 32 percent. Although second quarter revenues were announced in October, in keeping with standard French business practices, the company's only revealing profit figures now. For the six months ending September 30th, operating income was up from €12.5 million ($16.2m) a year ago to €24.7 million ($31.9m). However, net income fell from €30.6 million ($39.5m) a year ago to ¥24.0 million ($31.0m). Sales also increased during that period, rising to €344.5 million ($445.3m) from € 261.4 million year over year. Ubisoft credits the increase to its casual games lineup, which represented 35.4 percent of its total sales. Last year, the company's casual games accounted for just 14.5 percent in the same period. Ubisoft's digital distribution business also saw a sharp rise, increasing from 4.8 percent of total sales to 12.4 percent. Regarding its recent releases, the company described sales of Wii exclusive Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party as beginning "solidly", while Tom Clancy’s EndWar has "got off to a slower start". Far Cry 2 is enjoying a "solid" performance in Europe, and a "softer" one in North America. Sales of Shaun White Snowboarding are also described as solid in North America, particularly on the Wii, but slower in Europe. "Our strong first-half growth fueled a sharp rise in profitability," said CEO Yves Guillemot. "Based on our initial sales figures for the third fiscal quarter and thanks to the diversity of our game line-up, we are confident that we will be able to achieve the targets that we recently raised for full-year 2008-09, despite a highly competitive environment marked by the launch of numerous high-quality games." "In addition, consoles are continuing to record robust sales levels, which represents a very positive sign for the video games industry for 2009," he added.

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