With first-week sales of Assassin's Creed II
up 32 percent over the previous title, Ubisoft says the game is likely to beat expectations -- but for the first six months of its fiscal year, the company reported a €78 million ($117 million) operating loss.
The loss, which comes alongside sales of €166 million ($249 million) in the three-month period that ended September 30, is in line with the company's targets. Ubisoft says it's seen a sharp drop in sales over the fiscal year so far, and gross profits from its back catalog fell "sharply" on aggressive retail discounting and promotions.
"First-week sales of Assassin’s Creed II
, up 32 percent, with positive initial indications for the second week, combined with an overwhelmingly warm reception from gamers, validates our strategy of developing bigger franchises," said CEO Yves Guillemot in a statement accompanying the financial results.
But while Assassin's Creed 2
is set to beat targets, the instability of the Wii software market in particular has harmed the publisher, Guillemot added: "Our Wii games have got off to a more contrasted start in a less predictable market."
Finally, the company hopes the launch of James Cameron's Avatar film will boost launch sales of its tie-in game when it releases this week.
Ubisoft retained its existing guidance, confirming its expectations of third-quarter revenues of €540 million ($811 million) and full fiscal year 2010 revenues of €1.04 billion ($1.56 billion), with full-year pre-compensation profits of at least €72.8 million ($109.3 million). The company's fiscal year ends March 31, 2010.