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Nintendo Reports $2.8B Profit For Fiscal Year

Tokyo — Nintendo reported Thursday it had an 8.5 percent increase in annual profit to a record $2.8 billion (279.1 billion yen) for the fiscal year ended March 31, up from 257.3 billion yen the previous year.

Sales for the fiscal year — the company did not break out quarterly earnings — rose 9.9 percent to $18.7 billion (1.839 trillion yen) from 1.672 trillion yen the previous fiscal year. The video game company said overseas sales accounted for 87.5 percent of the take.

Operating profits rose 14 percent from the year earlier to over $5.6 billion (555 billion yen).

“The video game industry, which was less impacted by the economic downturn than most industries, remained relatively stable in spite of the large consumer spending decline,” Nintendo said in a statement.

The company cited globally strong sales of its Wii home console and DS portable gaming systems for the strong results.

Global sales of the Wii system reached 25.95 million units in the fiscal year and 50.39 million units since its launch in late 2006 – a record pace.

The Nintendo DS, meanwhile, has sold 101.78 million units (31.18 million units in the fiscal year).

Despite strong numbers, unit sales numbers were slightly lower than Nintendo’s original targets of 26.5 million Wii systems and 31.5 million DS players.

The company said it expects to sell 26 million more Wii machines in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, and 30 million more DS machines, including the new DSi version.

Fiscal year retail software sales also rose for each platform from the previous year. Games for the DS reached 197 million units and over 204 million for Wii, Nintendo said. The hottest sellers for the company in the year included: Pokemon Platinum Version and Brain Age and Brain Age 2 for the DS, and Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii for the Wii.

For the current fiscal year, Nintendo said it expects new releases The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the DS and Wii Sports Resort for the Wii to see strong worldwide sales.

For the current fiscal year, beginning April 1, Nintendo projected sales of another 26 million Wii hardware systems and 220 million software units, while Nintendo DS sales are projected at 30 million hardware systems and 180 million pieces of software.

Nintendo forecasted its net profit to rise 7.5 percent rise $3.04 billion (300 billion yen) for the fiscal year through March 2010. But sales are expected to decline 2.1 percent to $18.2 billion (1.8 trillion yen), and operating profit to drop 11.8 percent to $4.97 billion (490 billion yen).