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Good times for Nintendo but warns of cautious months ahead as Wii sales drop in Japan...
Bucking the financial gloom and despite a stronger than expected Yen Nintendo today reported a 17% increase in net sales for nine-month period ended December 31st 2008.
Net sales for the period increased to 1.54 trillion Yen (£11.92 billion) from 1.32 trillion Yen (£10.24 billion) for the same nine-month period a year ago. As a result operating income increased by 27% to 501.33 billion Yen (£3.89 billion) from 394.04 billion Yen (£3.06 billion), while net income saw an 18% decrease from 258.93 billion Yen (£2.01 billion) to 212.52 billion Yen (£1.65 billion).
During the third quarter Nintendo sold 1.66 million units of the DSi which launched in Japan on November 1st 2008. Sales of the DS Light remained robust across Europe and the US, with combined worldwide sales of the popular handheld reaching 25.62 million units for the nine months and 96.22 million units life-to-date. 163.78 million DS titles were sold during the nine-month period, bolstered by Pokemon Platinum selling over 2 million copies across Japan.
The Nintendo Wii enjoyed increased sales in Europe and the US during the Christmas season, with 20.52 million units sold worldwide during the three quarter period. A cautionary note for Nintendo is the fact that Wii sales dropped by 37% in Japan for the nine-month period compared to last year. Total life-to-date sales of the Wii have passed 44.96 million units. Both Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit passed 10 million sales during the period, while Wii Play continued to shift Wii Remotes with 9.4 million units sold during the nine-month period.
It's not just all about Nintendo however with the Japanese giant reporting that third-party titles have noted a significant improvement on both DS and Wii.
Breaking the results down by territory, it seems the days of Europe's indifference towards Nintendo are long gone. Sales across Europe were 636 billion yen (£4.94 billion) with an operating income of 39.5 billion yen (£306.53 million), compared with sales in the Americas of 629.1 billion yen (£4.88 billion) and operating income of 33.4 billion yen (£259.19 million). Sales in Japan were 1.37 trillion Yen (£10.63 billion), with an operating income of 450.5 billion yen (£3.50 billion).
Despite the success Nintendo has forecast a more downbeat outlook for the fourth quarter. Net sales for the full fiscal year ended March 31st 2009 have been reduced by 9% from 2 trillion yen (£15.52 billion) to 1.8 trillion yen (£13.97 billion). Operating income has been slashed by 15.9%, from 630 billion yen (£4.89 billion) to 530 billion yen (£4.11 billion), while net income expectations for the full year have dropped by a third from 345 billion yen (£2.68 billion) to 230 billion yen (£1.78 billion).
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