Company records strong execution in the fourth quarter, notably for Live games 2020-21 targets to reflect potential impact of COVID-19
- Full-year performance:
|In €m 12 months 2019-201||Reported change|
|In % of total net bookings|
|IFRS 15 sales1||1 594.8||-13.6%||NA||NA|
|Net bookings1||1 534.0||-24.4%||NA||NA|
|Digital net bookings1||1 261.3||-9.7%||82.2%||68.8%|
|PRI net bookings1||702.4||+9.0%||45.8%||31.8%|
|Back-catalog net bookings1||1 115.8||-2.7%||72.7%||56.5%|
|IFRS operating income/(loss)||(59.5)||NA||NA||NA|
|Non-IFRS operating income||34.2||-92.3%||2.2%||22.0%|
- Fourth fiscal quarter: Net bookings of €417.4 million. Excluding the reclassification of mobile revenues, the figure was €388.2 million, up on the Group’s target of around €333.0 million.
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege:
- 60 million registered players
- More than one billion session days in 2019-20, representing a sharp increase
- Record engagement levels for January, February and March months and a 26% rise in PRI over the quarter
- Ranked the fourth “Most Impactful PC Game” by The Esports Observer for the first calendar quarter of 2020
- Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey: Very sharp increases over past the twelve months in sell-through, daily player engagement and PRI, up by approximately 90%, 90%, and 170% respectively compared with Assassin’s Creed® Origins.
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2®: Very strong recovery in Q4, with net bookings comparable to those for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey after 13 months.
- Just Dance® 2020: net bookings up 156% in Q4 compared with Just Dance 2019.
- 11 titles have sold over 10 million units in this console cycle, demonstrating the depth and strength of the Group’s portfolio: Assassin’s Creed Unity -Assassin’s Creed Origins – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – The Division – The Division 2 – Far Cry® 4 – Far Cry 5 – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands – Rainbow Six Siege – Watch_Dogs® – Watch_Dogs 2
- 2020-21 targets updated to reflect the potential impact of COVID19:
Expected net bookings of between €2,3501 million and €2,6501 million and non-IFRS operating income of between €400 million and €600 million
Sydney, Australia – May 15, 2020 – Today, Ubisoft released its sales and earnings figures for fiscal 2019-20, i.e. the twelve months ended March 31, 2020.
Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said “In this unprecedented period, our priority has been to ensure the safety and well-being of our teams, everywhere in the world. They have shown incredible courage, commitment, adaptability and professionalism, which I would like to salute. Supported by the remote working tools that we have put in place, they have been able to continue offering exceptional games and services so that players can escape, explore and have fun with their families, friends and communities. Our mission is to enrich players’ lives through memorable gaming experiences, and it is more relevant now than ever before.”
Frédérick Duguet, Chief Financial Officer, continued “As expected, our financial results for the full year finished well below our initial expectations. However, it is important to note our strong fourth quarter performance. Starting mid-March, the lockdown led to a sharp increase in player engagement worldwide, but even at the beginning of the fourth quarter our operating trends already were higher than expected thanks to our teams’ remarkable execution. The intense levels of activity for our games, in terms of both Live content and esports events, combined with highly effective acquisition strategies helped several of our titles to be remarkably successful. This is the case for Rainbow Six Siege, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, The Division 2, and Just Dance 2020. We are also encouraged to see players’ excellent response to our latest updates to Ghost Recon Breakpoint.”
Yves Guillemot concluded “Our initial targets for 2020-21 remain in sight as we are currently benefiting from excellent momentum, especially with stronger than anticipated performance in back catalog, digital and PRI, coupled with the most ambitious line-up of the industry for the year. However, the COVID-19 crisis calls for prudence, as numerous uncertainties have arisen. The transition to working from home has had short-term repercussions on our production, for the time being limited to few weeks. The coming months will provide more visibility on whether we can maintain our release plans. Additionally, it is unclear what effects the economic crisis is going to have on the operating conditions of our business partners and on consumer spending. For the sake of transparency and in order to reflect the potential impact of those external uncertainties, we have decided to supplement our targets with a range. The bottom range presents our estimate of the impact that these external factors could have if they were to actually materialize. It notably reflects the possibility that we decide to postpone the release of a AAA title to 2021-22, if it ensures to maximize the long-term potential of our line-up.
We continue to draw on our solid financial structure, our increasingly recurring profile and the numerous assets we have built up over the past few years. These achievements have enabled us to radically transform the Group and create major value for our players, employees, partners and shareholders. As we enter this new console cycle, our creative and production capacity, franchise portfolio and Live operations capabilities are all significantly stronger. Going forward, we intend to continue pursuing our strategy in order to seize the many opportunities to grow our top line and increase our profitability, notably thanks to the acceleration trends towards digital and social.”
The Group presents indicators which are not prepared strictly in accordance with IFRS as it considers that they are the best reflection of its operating and financial performance. The definitions of the non-IFRS indicators as well as a reconciliation table between the IFRS consolidated income statement and the non-IFRS consolidated income statement are provided in an appendix to this press release.
The Group applied the new lease-accounting standard, IFRS 16, for the first time in its financial statements for the 12 months ended March 31, 2020. As the Group elected to use the modified retrospective approach on adopting IFRS 16, the comparative figures for 2018-19 have not been restated
Income statement and key financial data
|In € millions||2019-20||%||2018-19||%|
|IFRS 15 sales||1 594.8||1 845.5|
|Deferred revenues related to IFRS 15||(60.8)||183.1|
|Net bookings||1 534.0||2 028.6|
|Gross margin based on net bookings||1 280.9||83.5%||1 699.7||83.8%|
|Non-IFRS R&D expenses||(680.9)||-44.4%||(700.4)||-34.5%|
|Non-IFRS selling expenses||(382.2)||-24.9%||(405.2)||-20.0%|
|Non-IFRS G&A expenses||(183.6)||-12.0%||(148.1)||-7.3%|
|Total non-IFRS SG&A expenses||(565.8)||-36.9%||(553.3)||-27.3%|
|Non-IFRS operating income(1)||34.2||2.2%||446.0||22.0%|
|IFRS operating income(1)||(59.5)||159.0|
|Non-IFRS diluted EPS (in €)(1)||(0.09)||2.80|
|IFRS diluted EPS (in €) (1)||(1.12)||0.89|
|Non-IFRS cash flows from operating activities(2)||(86.4)||384.7|
|R&D investment expenditure(3)||909.6||801.3|
|Non-IFRS net cash/(debt) position||(100.6)||(293.8)|
2019-20 and 2018-19 are not comparable as the IFRS figures for 2019-20 include the impact of applying the new lease accounting standard, IFRS 16. This first-time application of IFRS 16 had negative impacts of €3.8 million on IFRS and non-IFRS operating income and €3.7 million on IFRS and non-IFRS attributable net income.
(2) Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players (not audited by the Statutory Auditors).
(3) Including royalties but excluding future commitments.
Sales and net bookings
IFRS 15 sales for the fourth quarter of 2019-20 came to €481.1 million, down 6.8% (or 7.9% at constant exchange rates) on the €516.5 million generated in fourth-quarter 2018-19. IFRS 15 sales for full-year 2019-20 totalled €1,594.8 million, down 13.6% (or 15.1% at constant exchange rates) versus the 2018-19 figure of €1,845.5 million.
Fourth-quarter 2019-20 net bookings totalled €417.4 million, down 38.3% (or 39.0% at constant exchange rates) on the €676.7 million recorded for fourth-quarter 2018-19.
Net bookings for full-year 2019-20 amounted to €1,534.0 million, down 24.4% (or 25.7% at constant exchange rates) on the €2,028.6 million figure for 2018-19.
Main income statement items
Non-IFRS operating income came in at €34.2 million, versus €446.0 million in 2018-19.
Non-IFRS attributable net loss amounted to €10.2 million, representing non-IFRS diluted loss per share of €0.09, compared with non-IFRS attributable net income of €333.5 million and non-IFRS diluted earnings per share of €2.8 respectively for 2018-19.
Following the recognition of €100.8 million in goodwill impairment, IFRS attributable net loss for 2019-20 totaled €125,6 million, representing IFRS diluted loss per share of €1.12, compared with IFRS attributable net income of €100.0 million and IFRS diluted earnings per share of €0,89 respectively for 2018-19.
The Group’s first-time application of IFRS 16 negatively impacted IFRS and non-IFRS operating income by €3.8 million and had a €3.7 million negative impact on IFRS and non-IFRS attributable net income.
Main cash flow statement items
Non-IFRS cash flows from operating activities represented a net cash outflow of €86.4 million in 2019-20 (versus a €384.7 million net cash inflow in 2018-19). It reflects a negative €169.9 million in non-IFRS cash flow from operations (versus a positive €300.0 million in 2018-19) and an €83.4 million decrease in non-IFRS working capital requirement (compared with an €84.7 million decrease in 2018-19).
Main balance sheet items and liquidity
At March 31, 2020, the Group’s equity was €1,315 million, representing a year-on-year increase, and its non-IFRS net debt was lower, at €101 million versus €293 million at end of March 2019. IFRS net debt totaled €344 million at March 31, 2020, including €243 million related to the first time application of IFRS16. Ubisoft has access to substantial long-term financing, amounting to €1,000 million, for which the earliest repayment date is January 2023 and, if required, can also draw down on its €300 million revolving credit facility, which matures in July 2024.
Net bookings for the first quarter of 2020-21 are expected to come in at around €335.0 million, versus €314.2 million in first-quarter 2019-20.
As of today, Ubisoft is confirming its capacity to reach its previously communicated target of €600 million for non-IFRS operating income, with the release of 5 AAA titles (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch_Dogs Legion, Gods & Monsters®, Rainbow Six Quarantine and a yet to be announced franchise). In the context of the COVID-19 crisis and in order to take into account the potential impact of the current external uncertainties, Ubisoft is updating its targets. Consequently, it now expects:
- Net bookings of between €2 350 million6 and € 2 650 million6, versus the previous target of € 2 600 million
- Non-IFRS operating income of between €400 million and €600 million, versus the previous target of €600 million
Response to the COVID-19 crisis
We have taken decisive steps to support our employees, players, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their health and well-being remain our top priority.
We leveraged our IT and digital workplace infrastructure to transition the majority of teams to remote work, a challenging new context that has required all our employees to adapt quickly. As countries around the world begin to lift restrictions, we are preparing our teams for a gradual return to our offices and studios, and taking special precautions to make sure that team members who are returning to the office can do so safely.
We have continued to engage our players during this period by delivering live content, as well as special offers. In April, we launched the “Play Your Part, Play At Home” campaign, a month-long series of offers designed to give players ways to stay entertained and connected with friends. Through this campaign, we gave away three beloved games from our catalog on PC: Child of Light, Rayman Legends, and Assassin’s Creed II. These giveaways were redeemed 9 million times.
With many children unable to attend school due to the pandemic, the educational virtues of our games have seen renewed interest among our communities. Teachers are using the Discovery Tour Ancient Greece from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to give their students virtual history lessons, while our free Rabbids Coding game provides a fun way for kids to learn to code.
In addition to these efforts, we partnered with other actors in the video game industry to support the “Play Apart Together” initiative to encourage players to respect social distancing guidelines.
In response to increased Internet use around the world, we acted preemptively to preserve Internet access and stability for all by implementing measures to adjust bandwidth usage.
On March 28, we participated in the Twitch Stream Aid fundraiser for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO. Our studios and offices have also donated to a variety of local organizations, such as hospitals and food banks, to help the communities where we do business.
Ubisoft will hold a conference call today, Thursday May 14, 2020, at 6:15 p.m. Paris time/12:15 p.m. New York time.
The conference call will take place in English and can be accessed live and via replay by clicking on the following link:
This press release may contain estimated financial data, information on future projects and transactions and future financial results/performance. Such forward-looking data are provided for information purposes only. They are subject to market risks and uncertainties and may vary significantly compared with the actual results that will be published. The estimated financial data have been approved by the Supervisory Board on May 14, 2020, and have not been audited by the Statutory Auditors. (Additional information is provided in the most recent Ubisoft Registration Document filed on June 7, 2019 with the French Financial Markets Authority (l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers)).
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch_Dogs, Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and The Division. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €1,534 million. To learn more, please visit: www.ubisoftgroup.com.
 Mobile revenues are now recognized on a gross basis and include commissions paid to store operators. This has resulted in an €29.2 million increase in sales (IFRS 15 sales and net bookings) and cost of sales. This change has not affected either operating or net income. The impact on back-catalog net bookings was €24.4 million. For 2020-21, the expected impact is €50 million.
 Sell-in, since the games’ releases.
 Sales at constant exchange rates are calculated by applying to the data for the period under review the average exchange rates used for the same period of the previous fiscal year.
 See the presentation published on Ubisoft’s website for further information on movements in the income and cash flow statement.
 Based on the consolidated cash flow statement for comparison with other industry players
 Including the impacts of the reclassification of mobile revenues, amounting to €11 million for Q1 and €50 million in the full fiscal year