Ubisoft Posts Record Operating Loss in Year to March but Sticks to FY Guidance

The logo of Ubisoft is seen in Montreuil, near Paris, France, July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
The logo of Ubisoft is seen in Montreuil, near Paris, France, July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
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Ubisoft Posts Record Operating Loss in Year to March but Sticks to FY Guidance

The logo of Ubisoft is seen in Montreuil, near Paris, France, July 13, 2020. (Reuters)
The logo of Ubisoft is seen in Montreuil, near Paris, France, July 13, 2020. (Reuters)

French video game producer Ubisoft posted the biggest operating loss in company's history on Tuesday but stuck to its guidance for the current financial year, citing a renewed focus on blockbuster titles.

The maker of the hit "Rainbow Six" franchise posted a full-year non-IFRS operating loss of 500.2 million euros ($550.6 million), in line with a target announced in its January profit warning.

The family-run firm has been dogged by game cancellations and delays in recent years, booking a writedown estimate of around 500 million euros in 2022 due to research and development expenses.

"As part of our progressive reallocation of resources, we notably plan to increase the number of talents working on the Assassin’s Creed brand by 40% over the coming years," co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot said in a statement.

Ubisoft said its total headcount had dropped below 20,000 employees as of Tuesday from 20,700 at the end of September, following the announcement of a 200 million euro cost-cutting plan in its profit warning in January.

Eighty percent of the headcount drop is the result of voluntary departures, Chief Financial Officer Frederick Duguet said in a media call.

The group restated its plans to integrate generative artificial intelligence (AI) in game development, after it announced in March "Ghostwriter", an in-house AI tool designed to write first drafts of non-playable character dialogue.

The Paris-listed publisher confirmed its estimate for a full-year core profit of around 400 million euros, while forecasting first-quarter net bookings of around 240 million euros.

Ubisoft's 2023-24 line-up will include Assassin's Creed Mirage, a new entry in the company's flagship franchise, and the long-delayed Skull & Bones and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The firm did not give a specific timeline for their release.



Saudi Human Resources Ministry Affirms Safety of Digital Services from Global Tech Outage

FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
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Saudi Human Resources Ministry Affirms Safety of Digital Services from Global Tech Outage

FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has verified that the digital services it offers to beneficiaries in the fields it oversees, namely labor, social development, shared services, and civil service, remain unaffected, SPA reported.
The ministry clarified that its electronic systems are operating at full efficiency and have not been impacted by the technological problem that has plagued other nations worldwide.
The ministry stressed the safety of information and data on all service beneficiaries, whether employees, employers, or beneficiaries.