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Pandemic payoff continues for Nintendo as profit soars

AFP
Japanese gaming giant Nintendo reported bumper results yesterday, with unprecedented demand soaring as virus lockdowns boost the sector.
AFP
Pandemic payoff continues for Nintendo as profit soars
AFP

Customers shop at a Nintendo store in Tokyo yesterday as the Japanese gaming company announced bumper results amid soaring demand due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Japanese gaming giant Nintendo reported bumper results yesterday, with unprecedented demand soaring as virus lockdowns boost the sector.

While fresh waves of infections have dashed recovery hopes in many industries, tightened restrictions have helped extend a run of good fortune for gaming companies.

Nintendo hiked its full-year forecast again on the strong results, including the runaway success of its Switch console and blockbuster pandemic hit game “Animal Crossing.”

The firm said global sales of the Switch for October-December rose to their highest level since the wildly popular console launched in March 2017.

Net profit for April-December hit a record 376.7 billion yen (US$3.6 billion), up 91.8 percent from the same period a year earlier, while sales climbed 37.3 percent to 1.4 trillion yen, it said.

Nintendo, which revised its annual forecasts up last quarter, said it was further upgrading its net profit outlook to 400 billion yen for the fiscal year to March, from an earlier estimate of 300 billion yen.

Full-year sales are now projected at 1.6 trillion yen, compared with the 1.4 trillion yen forecast in November.

“Although it has not released major titles recently, software sales were also strong,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Tokyo’s Ace Research Institute.

He said the firm “appears to have sailed through the crucial Christmas season in style.”

“The pandemic was a key factor, but the current strong performance underscores the Switch’s high popularity.”

Nintendo shares have surged more than 50 percent over the past 12 months.

Since it first hit stores nearly four years ago, the Switch has become a huge global seller, helped by innovative, family-friendly titles such as “Animal Crossing” that have wowed critics and gamers alike.

In 2019, Nintendo released a scaled-back, cheaper version called Switch Lite. Its new console sales have tended to peak in the third year after release, and then taper off, but the Kyoto-based company is hoping to break the fourth-year jinx, counting on continued strong demand for the Switch.

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