© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The UbiSoft Entertainment logo is seen at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
By Valentine Baldassari
(Reuters) -Ubisoft, the maker of the blockbuster “Assassin’s Creed” video game franchise, said on Thursday it expected to post full-year results at the lower end of its guidance despite seeing growth in its current fourth quarter.
“We can still achieve the high side of (the guidance) because we have a lot of content to be released and upside is possible, but it’s fair to say for now the forecast is in the lower side of the guidance,” Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet said in a conference call.
The company cut its targets last October to “flat to slightly down” net bookings and non-IFRS operating income of between 420 million euros and 500 million euros.
It is nevertheless expecting a strong fourth quarter – for Ubisoft the period spanning January to March – saying that the period will see “very strong growth” boosted by its back-catalog, new releases, partnerships and post-launch content.
Gaming companies saw a jump in demand in 2020 as people were restricted to their homes during coronavirus-related lockdowns but some, including Ubisoft, are now facing production delays.
The French group in October pushed back the release of free-to-play title “Tom Clancy’s The Division Heartland” and further postponed “Rocksmith+” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”, two titles that had already been delayed.
Ubisoft reported net bookings of 746.1 million euros ($848.09 million) in its October-December third quarter compared to the 725-780 million euros it had guided for and 1 billion euros in the year earlier period.
Net bookings cover sales of products and services sold digitally or sold physically as well as revenue from licence fees and other agreements.
($1 = 0.8797 euros)
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