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Ubisoft Sees 93 Percent Q1 Sales Increase, 1.9 Million Units Of Splinter Cell: Conviction

Ubisoft says 1.9 million units of Splinter Cell Conviction helped a 93 percent sales increase to $201 million for the quarter, also citing high pre-orders of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood as cause for optimism.
Ubisoft says 1.9 million units sold-in of Splinter Cell: Conviction during its first fiscal quarter helped drive the company to a 93 percent sales increase to 160 million euros ($201.45 million) for the period. Today the company released only estimates for its quarter, promising final figures to be announced on July 22. For now, the company says it's beaten its own estimates for the quarter, having previously expected to announce 145 million euros ($182.56 million) for the period. Ubisoft's first fiscal quarter ended June 30. Ubisoft credits its results not only to the strong performance of Splinter Cell: Conviction, which launched on consoles in the U.S. April 13 (the company estimates 70 percent of that 1.9 million is actually sold through, and mostly on the Xbox 360), but also "good" performance from its back catalog and casual titles. These categories accounted for 33 million euros and 26 million euros, respectively, and were led by 800,000 units sold-in of Just Dance, and 350,000 units of Avatar. The company did not diclose its profits for the quarter. In total, Just Dance has sold-in more than 3.7 million units -- according to the company, the best-ever performance for a third party publisher on the Wii. However, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, which released on May 18, was said to have a "soft" performance, according to CEO Yves Guillemot on the company's call to investors. A favorable exchange rate also played a role, netting the company about 9 million euros ($11.33 million) in gains. On the call, the company also said it's seeing increasing market share in North America. Last year, only 35 percent of its sales came from that region, but Guillemot said that number is growing. "Our sales performance this quarter reflects the success of several titles and attests to the quality of our game catalog," says Guillemot. "It's proof of Ubisoft's ability to make its mark in an ever-demanding video games sector." The company expects its performance to continue improving, despite the fact that alongside today's results, it revealed a delay for upcoming Driver: San Francisco from the holiday quarter into early 2011 due to what it called heavy competition in the holiday market. But Ubisoft has particular confidence in the fall launch of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: "The preorders are the strongest ever seen, already 20 percent above those [for Assassin's Creed II] from the same period last year, even before the awards were announced following E3," says Guillemot. The company told analysts on its conference call that it expects its upcoming Michael Jackson: The Experience, which will launch on Wii, Move, and Kinect, to be a "million seller." For the new motion control solutions and Nintendo 3DS hardware, Ubisoft promises a "rich line-up of both online games and new titles for the upcoming hardware launches this fiscal year." The company forecasts its sales for the upcoming fiscal quarter to come in at about 83 million euros ($104.50 million), flat year over year.

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