Back catalog, digital drive Ubisoft's better-than-expected sales

Ubisoft reported €76 million (approximately $99.5 million) in sales for the first fiscal quarter ending June 30, which the company said is slightly higher than its initial targets and was bolstered by sales of its back catalog and digital games.

Despite overshooting initial estimates of €70 million ($91.6 million), first-quarter sales were down 42.2 percent compared to the same period last fiscal year, which brought in €131 million ($171.5 million) and included the launch of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

The company also saw a 56 percent increase in back catalog game sales and attributed the increase to the "solid performance" of Assassin's Creed 3, Far Cry 3, Just Dance 4, Rocksmith and Rayman Origins. Ubisoft also reported "continued momentum" in the sales of digital games, with sales up 27 percent to €34 million ($44.5 million). The company said this is due to the success of spring releases Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

"Ubisoft's teams once again performed remarkably well at this year's E3 in a very competitive and dynamic environment," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement accompanying the financial report. "The event was an opportunity to fully confirm the potential of the next-generation consoles whose launch in late 2013 is synonymous with a new growth phase for Ubisoft and the industry as a whole."

Ubisoft predicts sales of €200 million ($261.78 million) for the second quarter of the fiscal year. During that time, the company will launch Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends.

The company has also adjusted its game release schedule. Racing game The Crew will now launch in the first quarter of calendar year 2014. And Ubisoft has moved an unannounced new franchise previously slated to launch this fiscal year to the 2014-2015 fiscal year's lineup. The company will keep its total sales targets for the 2013-2014 fiscal year between €1.42 billion and €1.45 billion ($1.85 billion and $1.89 billion).

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