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Ubisoft gross profits down year over year but Q4 2013 profits rose

Ubisoft's gross profits were down €191.7 million (about $262 million) year over year, while its Q4 profits rose to €194 million ($265 million) year over year, the company announced in its sales and earnings report (PDF link) for the year ended March 31, 2014. 

Gross profits in 2013-2014 reached €721.8 million ($986 million) compared to €913.5 million ($1.2 billion) in 2012-2013. Ubisoft cited a "contrition in sales from the core gamers segment" for the discrepancy, but said that the impact on gross profit was "largely offset by grown in digital distribution." 

The company ended the fiscal year with a non-IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) operating loss of  €65.6 million ($89 million). That figure is roughly equivalent to the guidance the company provided in February 2014 alongside its Q3 financial results.

Ubisoft singled out Obsidian Entertainment's South Park: The Stick of Truth's "solid performance" during Q4, citing its "higher-than-expected digital distribution levels."

CEO Yves Guillemot said that 2014-2015 should return the company to "double-digit profitability," predicted in part by the upcoming releases of Assassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, a new Just Dance game, The Crew and Watch Dogs

"Although Ubisoft did not reach the targets announced a year ago for 2013-14, we did see a number of significant achievements during the period," Guillemot said. "Above all, we consistently achieved high quality across our games, notably for Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag — the best-rated game of the Christmas season for PS4 and Xbox One — and for South Park: The Stick of Truth, which delivered a solid sales performance for Xbox360, PS3 and PC. At the same time, the digital segment is now a substantial contributor to our business, accounting for 19 percent of total 2013-14 sales. At the start of 2014-15, we further demonstrated the strides we have made in this growth segment, with the successful releases of two free-to-play games for smartphones and tablets — Trials Frontier, with almost 10 million downloads on iOS in one month, and CSI: Hidden Crimes."

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