Wii, DS powers up Nintendo profit

Net profit jumps 34% to $993 million

The Wii and DS may be losing momentum in Japan, but brisk sales growth around the world and a booming market for its games helped Nintendo profits surge last quarter.

Japanese vidgame giant reported a 34% rise in net income to ¥107.27 billion ($993 million) on revenue of $3.92 billion, up 24% from the same quarter a year ago.

The hot-selling Wii moved 5.17 million consoles from April to June, compared with 3.43 million units in the first fiscal quarter last year.

Wii sales were actually down 44% in Japan to 530,000, but that trend was more than made up for by a 73% jump in the Americas to 2.5 million and a 107% rise to 2.15 million in other parts of the world. Total lifetime sales for the console are now 29.6 million, well ahead of the Microsoft’s Xbox 360, with approximately 20 million units sold worldwide, and Sony’s PlayStation 3, at 15 million.

Sales of Wii games also grew substantially from the same quarter last year, rising more than 150% to just over 40 million units in the quarter. Big sellers includes racing game “Mario Kart Wii,” which sold 6.42 million units, and new exercise title “Wii Fit,” which sold 3.42 million. As with hardware, Wii game sales growth was substantially higher outside Japan.

Nintendo’s handheld DS console, while still dominating its market, actually saw sales fall by a slight 40,000 units in the quarter to 6.94 million. DS sales were down a marked 72% in Japan, where the device is already extremely popular, to 580,000, but up 13% in the Americas to 2.7 million and 46% in the rest of the world to 3.65 million. DS game sales rose slightly to 36.6 million, with increases outside Japan overcoming a 50% drop in Nintendo’s home territory.

Total worldwide sales for the DS are now a boffo 77.5 million units.

Despite the mostly sterling numbers, Nintendo has not revised its April forecast for the current fiscal year. It still predicts that sales will rise 7.6% to $16.67 billion while expecting net profit to grow 26.3% to $3.01 billion and operating profit to rise 8.8% to $4.91 billion.

Sales of the Wii are predicted to total 25 million units, and sales of the Nintendo DS are eyed at 28 million for the fiscal year ending in March.

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