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Despite 'Robust' Holiday, Nintendo Sees Profits Fall 9.4 Percent

Despite 'Robust' Holiday, Nintendo Sees Profits Fall 9.4 Percent

January 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

January 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
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Although it had a "robust" holiday season, lower sales and a strong yen brought Wii and DS creator Nintendo's profits down 9.4 percent overall during the nine months ending December 2009, the company said today.

The company won't break out its holiday quarter sales until tomorrow, but said its holiday sales "exceeded last year." However, in the wider-lens view of the nine-month period, Nintendo reported profits of ¥192.6 billion ($2.1 billion) on net sales that also declined year over year, down 23.1 percent to ¥1,182.1 billion ($13.09 billion).

The results span a period that saw the launch of both the Nintendo DSi globally and the larger-sized DSi LL in Japan, as well as several key game launches. Global sales of the company's DS handhelds overall totaled 23.35 million units during the nine months, down about 2 million year on year.

Over that time period the company also implemented its Wii price cuts, shaving about 20 percent off the total, a move that drove hardware sales around the holidays, but bit into its profits. Wii consoles sold 17.05 million units worldwide during the nine months, still around 3 million units less than the previous year thanks to slower sales earlier in 2009.

Nintendo also revealed unit sales for its key titles: on the handheld front, the latest Pokemon title, HeartGold/SoulSilver, reached 3.74 million units; casual Japan-only title Tomodachi Collection hit 2.74 million units.

In addition, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for DS has sold 2.45 million units since its launch in December, contributing to global DS first and third-party game sales of 121.38 million units over the year's first three fiscal quarters, down 26% year on year.

When it comes to Wii titles, the company had three that topped 10 million units worldwide since launch: New Super Mario Bros reached 10.55 million units, Wii Fit Plus has sold 10.16 million units, and Wii Sports Resort sold 13.58 million units. Just in the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company's total first and third-party Wii software sales reached 156.64 million units, an impressive total but still down 4% year on year.

For the fiscal year ending on March 31st, Nintendo is mantaining its current forecast for a net profit of ¥230 billion ($2.55 billion), which would mark its first profit decline since the launch of the Wii.


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