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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Nintendo profits rise on Switch machine, software sales

By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese video game maker Nintendo posted a 34% jump in profit in the first half of its fiscal year thanks to strong sales of products for its Switch console such as “Splatoon 3,” a paint-and-shooter game. the company said. Tuesday.

That prompted the maker of Pokémon and Super Mario games to raise its profit forecast for the April-March fiscal year to 400 billion yen ($2.7 billion), from an earlier projection of 340 billion yen ($2.3 billion). ).

Even the best forecast is below what Nintendo earned in the last fiscal year, at 477.7 billion yen.

Entertainment companies got a boost from the pandemic because people tended to stay home more, rather than go out. That advantage is likely to disappear as coronavirus restrictions ease.

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Japanese exporters like Nintendo are also getting a boost from a weaker yen, raising the value of their overseas earnings when translated into yen. The US dollar, which was trading at about 110 Japanese yen a year ago, is now at almost 150 yen.

Kyoto-based Nintendo Co.’s net profit rose to 230.45 billion yen ($1.6 billion) for the six months through September, up from 171.8 billion yen a year earlier.

First-half sales totaled 656.97 billion yen ($4.5 billion), up 5% from 624.3 billion yen.

Nintendo said shortages of computer chips and other components caused by COVID-19-related lockdowns and other disruptions affected production. Nintendo Switch sales fell 19% from a year earlier to 6.68 million units.

Other Japanese companies such as Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. have also been hit by chip shortages.

Other popular Nintendo game software released in the past six months include “Nintendo Switch Sports,” which sold 6.15 million units, and “Mario Strikers: Battle League,” which sold 2.17 million units.

Previously released Mario Kart and Kirby games also sold quickly, as did deals from third-party publishers, resulting in 15 million games sold for the Switch during the six-month period.

Nintendo’s software sales grew 1.6% year-on-year to 95.41 million units. Downloadable online games also did well, he said.

Nintendo said shortages of chips and other parts would likely gradually improve in the coming months. The Christmas and New Year holidays are crucial times for Nintendo’s business.

“By continually working to move production forward and selecting the appropriate transportation methods in preparation for the holiday season, we will work to deliver as many consoles as possible to consumers in all regions of the world,” the company said in a statement.

In game software, “Bayonetta 3” will be released in October, followed by “Pokémon Scarlet” and “Pokémon Violet” in November, “Fire Emblem Engage” in January 2023, and “Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe” in February 2023. 2023., according to Nintendo.

Nintendo expects to sell 19 million Switch consoles in the current fiscal year. It previously expected to sell 21 million Switch machines. Cumulative Switch sales worldwide have exceeded 114 million machines.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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