- Sep 11, 2009
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Nintendo said on Thursday it will return to profit this year, helped by a weakening yen, after posting its first annual operating loss on shrinking sales of its ageing Wii gaming console and weak demand for its new 3DS handheld device.
A weakening yen is helping boost earnings at the company that sells mostly overseas, while sales of new software titles such as the latest version of Dragon Quest from Square Enix should help underpin earnings, analysts say.
Projected profit, nonetheless, is far below the levels seen during the gaming boom sparked by the launch of its Wii console in 2006.
The company said it expected to sell 18.5 million 3DS devices worldwide, up from 13.5 million in the business year just ended. It said sales of the DS would shrink to 2.5 million from 5.1 million, with the Wii edging up to 10.5 million from 9.8 million.
Weak demand for the new 3DS, launched in February 2011, forced Nintendo to slash the price of the gadget by about a third in August and trim its initial estimates for sales during the business year by 8 million units.
Nintendo is expected to release its successor to the Wii, the Wii U, later this year.
The operating loss of 37.3 billion yen in the year that ended March 31 compared with a consensus estimate of a 41.4 billion yen loss, based on forecasts by 20 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.