Hit by game delays and cancellations, Ubisoft posts half-year net loss

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

Oct 27 (Reuters) - French video game maker Ubisoft (UBIP.PA) said on Thursday its net result turned into a loss in the half-year, citing lost research and development expenses and related game cancellations.

The firm has been dogged by game delays, on top of project cancellations and heavy sector competition. Its shares have shed roughly 38% this year.

The maker of the blockbuster "Assassin's Creed" franchise posted a net loss of 190.2 million euros ($190.6 million)in the half-year ended on September 30, compared to a slight profit of 1.6 million euros in the same period last year.

"The H1 bottom line notably reflects accelerated R&D depreciation, including for the previously announced cancelled projects," Ubisoft's finance chief Frédérick Duguet said in a statement.

In July, Ubisoft said in an analyst call it was pursuing cost optimization, revealing the cancellation of games such as Splinter Cell VR and Ghost Recon Frontline.

Ubisoft nonetheless on Thursday confirmed its full-year guidance and projected third quarter net bookings of around 830 million euros, on the back of a still unspecified mobile licensing deal.

The "Prince of Persia" franchise maker posted net bookings down 2.6% to 699.4 million euros for the six months ended in September.

Reporting by Enrico Sciacovelli and Oliver Sorgho; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.