* Annual sales up 18.6 pct
* Confirms 2018/19 profit and free cash flow targets
PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) - Ubisoft posted a record profitability over its last fiscal year as sales growth exceeded its targets, France’s biggest video game maker said on Thursday.
The group’s operating margin rose by one percentage point to 17.3 percent over the twelve-month period ending March 31, it said in a statement.
Total annual sales over the period jumped by 18.6 percent to 1.73 billion euros ($2.04 billion), exceeding a target of 1.64 billion, thanks notably to the commercial success of releases of the games Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed Origins.
The video maker, founded and led by the Guillemot brothers, said that revenues stemming from digital activities represented 58 percent of its annual revenue, up from 50 percent a year earlier.
Ubisoft cut its net bookings target in 2018-2019 to 2.05 billion from 2.1 billion previously, as it plans to launch three premium games over the fiscal year instead of four initially.
The group confirmed its operating income target of 440 million euros, as well as free cash flow target of 300 million euros. ($1 = 0.8480 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Leigh Thomas)