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Feb 9 (Reuters) - French software games developer Ubisoft cut its full year sales guidance by 10 percent after reporting sales below expectations for the key Christmas quarter, the company said on Thursday.
Sales for the Sept-Dec quarter fell 6 percent to 529.9 million euros ($565.4 million), short of the 560.0 million euros, it had expected.
The company said the launch of a sequel to its open-world hacking game, Watch Dogs 2, did not go "as dynamic as expected".
Ubisoft lowered sales guidance for its fiscal year to 1,455-1,495 million euros, adding that its new guidance also reflects the delayed launch of a game in the South Park franchise.
However, the company reported a record order book at the end of its third quarter, accounting for 57.1 percent of annual sales, which should keep profits intact.
"We are standing by our objective of achieving record operating income and operating margin for fiscal 2016-17, despite lower-than-expected sales," Chief Executive Yves Guillemot said in a press release.
The company is targeting non-IFRS operating income of between 230-250 million euros for the current fiscal year, and raised its margin target to 15.8-16.7 pct, up 150-170 basis points on its prior guidance.
Ubisoft also confirmed its targets for the 2018-2019 period and guides sales for its final quarter between 644.0-684.0 million euros, a 3-9 percent increase on last year's figure. ($1 = 0.9373 euros) (Reporting by Wout Vergauwen; Editing by Adrian Croft)